Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Way Home

Shadow Cross by jpverkamp

The old hymn says it so beautifully: The way of the Cross leads home.

Home.

What is home to you? Is it where you hang your hat?

Or is home where your heart is?

Can we ever comprehend what home meant to our Lord, to the one who had no place to lay His head (Matt. 8:20)?

I’m sure He had fond memories of the hearth where Mary cooked the family’s meal, the room where Joseph taught the Word, and where brothers and sisters ran and played. This was home, no doubt, but with a small “h.”

What about Home?

Did Jesus remember the songs of angels? Did He yearn for the glorious throne? Did He ache to see His Father as He had not seen Him for over 30 flesh-bound years?

He would not see Heaven again until the other side of Calvary.

The way of the Cross led Home.

Surely Home was part of the joy that was set before Him, which enabled Him to endure the Cross (Heb. 12:2). Because whatever the fond memories of home that you and I may have, His memories must have been far sweeter. His earthly home knew the pain of skinned knees, the sorrow of sibling rivalry, the agony of death. So do ours. But His true Home, where His heart yearned to rest, knew no such blights.

Can you hear the homesickness in His words on the night when He was betrayed?

I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
John 17:4-5

Are you homesick, child of God? Then you’re in good company. You share the malady that touched Noah, Abraham, Sarah, and all the faithful who did not seek their best life now, but banked on the one to come.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Heb 11:13-16

It is enough for the servant to be like his master (Matt. 10:25). And so for you, and for me, the way home has splinters and nails and blood and tears.

The way to Destruction holds suffering, too. It has its carousing and its pleasures, true, but it also has its undeniable pains. Sorrows alone do not make crosses, nor do those on the road to Perdition carry them.

Crosses are hewn from the rough wood of surrender, planed by faith, and fastened beam-to-beam by love. They are preceded by prayerful weeping, accompanied by grief, and climaxed in death…and resurrection!

And we who bear them are empowered by hope in God. He is the joy that is set before us.

We do not walk Calvary’s road alone. Our risen Lord walked ahead of us, and we see His footprints. But even that would not be enough for us sometimes. Our flesh is so weak. And so our Lord has put His Spirit within us who believe, so that His joy remains even when our tears blur the tracks that He left on Golgotha’s sandy path.

We who have tasted this joy would not trade it for the passing pleasures along Hell’s highway. There is a music on our path which the lost do not hear. It is the song of hearths which have never seen skinned knees, the song of the table where the Marriage Supper is being prepared and sibling rivalry is unknown, the song of the eternal Day where Death cannot sting any more. It is the song of Home. And those who have ears to hear it find its notes inexpressibly sweet. Its rhythm touches our feet so that, when we plod or when we dance, we do so with an eternal beat. Its pitch sometimes runs too low or too high for our senses, and yet even when we cannot hear it, we feel its gravitational pull. We long for others to come with us, but if they will not, we must go on without them. The Home Song calls, and we are drawn more powerfully than the birds who flock toward the South every winter.

Home, Home, Home!

Do you hear it calling you? You do? Then take up your cross of surrender, of faith, of love.

Walk on. Walk Home.

Because if you’re a child of God, Home is where your heart is.

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4 comments:

Ed said...

Thanks Betsy for your wonderful words and very fitting for this Holy Week as we look forward to Easter celebration in our church home.

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

"Crosses are hewn from the rough wood of surrender, planed by faith, and fastened beam-to-beam by love. They are preceded by prayerful weeping, accompanied by grief, and climaxed in death…and resurrection!"
-Just beautiful, Betsy!

I guess great minds think somewhat along the same lines, because I also used the Hebrews passage in my most recent post, in a similar context.

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh, sweetie...this is music to the ears of my heart and soul...oh, Betsy. Beautiful.

"The Home Song calls, and we are drawn more powerfully than the birds who flock toward the South every winter."

Can you hear me singing along?

Tami Boesiger said...

Mmmm. . .you make me yearn for it even more. Beautiful post, friend.

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