The Path Home

After Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt to avoid death under the reign of Herod, he took them back “home” to Israel.  They say that home is where the heart is. Israel really was home for Joseph and Mary.  It was their home because that is where they were born and raised.  Their hearts were in the land of Israel because it was their home.

For Jesus, though, we may need to look at things a little bit differently.  As God incarnate, we would be right in saying that Jesus’ home was in heaven.  But He was not in heaven.  Whether He was in Isreal or in Egypt, Jesus was on earth.  In contrast with Joseph and Mary whose hearts were tied to their home, Jesus’ home was tied to His heart.  “For God so loved the world…”  Jesus made His home on earth for a while because His heart was with us.  When He had completed the work of salvation, He returned to His eternal home.

We are on a journey to the foot of the cross to become more Christian–more Christ-like.  If we would be more like Him, then our hearts must be tuned to His.  We must love the world in the same way that God loves the world–enough to save it.  Like Jesus, though, ultimately our hearts and our home must be set on heaven.

The hymn O Thou Who Camest From Above by Charles Wesley contains a sense of our home here on earth, and our home in heaven.

There let it for thy glory burn
with inextinguishable blaze,
and trembling to its source return,
in humble prayer and fervent praise.

As you continue your journey, enjoy your home on earth.  God loves us here.  But let your heart be on heaven and look forward to your eternal home.  God loves us there, too.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Safe Return, day 37 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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Paths to Safety

God made us.  He knows our strengths and our weaknesses.  He knows just how far we can go, and when we should pull back for our own good.  We need to understand our limitations the way that God does.

On our journey to the foot of the cross we need to remember that we are only human.  We are vulnerable.  We are feeble and frail.  Sometimes we face challenges and need a safe place.  In those times our hope is in God, and God is our only hope.

The hymn O Worship the King was written by Robert Grant.  Grant was born into privilege, but was always keenly sensitive to the plight of people who were more vulnerable.  While serving in Parliament he led persistent and successful efforts for passage of laws to improve conditions for minority groups.  When he was appointed as governor in Bombay, India he worked tirelessly to help the poor and the sick.  He was a devoted Christian.  His life reflected God’s love so well that people of other faiths recognized Grant by naming a medical school in his honor.

As influential and successful as he was, though, Grant knew his limitations.  He knew God as his protector.  He knew that God provided that safe place where all of God’s people are loved.  He shared his insights in the words of this hymn, which still speaks to the church today.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in thee do we trust, nor find thee to fail;
thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

Stay close to God.  He is indeed our maker, defender, redeemer, and friend.  He will keep us safe on our journey.

Follow the Path!

[Use with Safe Journey, day 36 of A Labyrinth Pilgrimage]

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