Pastor Scott - December 13, 2021
That phrase, “coming home,’ is often filled with positive, eager expectation.
· I’m coming home for Christmas
· I’m coming home after a long tour of duty
· I’m coming home after a hard day of work
· I’m coming home after a long stay in the hospital
I’m not just coming back to my house. A house is a building with a couple of walls, windows and doors. When I say I am coming home, it is to a place where I belong, a placed filled with memories, a place that when I get there, I am eagerly welcomed. I’m coming home!
But recently, I’ve been having some conversations with people who don’t know how to come home. They are not talking about their childhood home, but rather, “How do I come back home to church? I’ve been away for nearly two years because of Covid. I don’t know how to come home.”
At first glance, it is a simple answer. Church is located at the same address as it was before Covid. Get in your car on Sunday morning and join us. We are open, we are worshipping, we have classes and we have programs. Come on back!
But such people are not talking about returning to a building. That would be easy. They are struggling with how to come “home.” How do I return after being gone for such a long time? How do I reconnect after feeling so apart all these months? How do I get my family, my children, myself back into the routine of weekly, in-person worship? What do I say to my church family that I haven’t seen in almost two years?
How do I come back home?
I can’t tell you how many tears I have seen in the eyes of people who have walked through the front doors of church, paused, looked around and began to cry.
“I haven’t been here in 18months.”
“I have watched online for all this time, but I needed to come home.”
“I have missed this so much.”
And what they have found is that the thought of coming home was much more difficult than actually coming home. When they returned, they were welcomed, they were greeted, they felt like they belonged, they missed the worship, the communion, the sermons. They missed having a cup of coffee and talking. They missed gathering with their church family in the house of the Lord.
The thought of coming home was much more difficult than actually coming home.
As we near Christmas, I want to encourage you to come home. This is a place where you belong, where memories are good and where there is still a place for you. Christ Lutheran was never about a building. We discovered that during Covid in which the empty church continued to exist in the lives of believers. But now, it is time to come home for Christmas. I know it might feel awkward. I know you are struggling with how todo it. I know you are asking, “Will it be the same?” Come home. We miss you. We want to see you. There is a place at the table where you belong.
It’s time to come home!