I have been thinking of home a lot lately. What got me started, oddly enough, was a conversation about scars. I have more than a few scars. The visible ones dot my body from head to toe. I bear several on my face, the biggest of which is a puckered scat forming an arc from the corner of my lip to the middle of my chin. Visible scars are but a fraction of the scars we carry. Childhood taunts and disappointment leave invisible scars, as do adult betrayals and failures. No one gets out of life unscarred!
In the midst of the “scar” conversation, I had a thought. “There will only be one set of scars in Heaven.!” All my painfully earned stripes will be forever gone, only “those wounds yet visible above” as the hymn say will remain. These scars become a badge of honour adorning our glorified Saviour. Those of us who have come to believe on His Name, will be totally and finally healed by those stripes. This thought made me yearn for home, the home He has prepared for me!
During his earthly sojourn, Jesus though He ‘pitched his tent’ or ‘tabernacled with us’ or ‘dwelt among us’, seldom had a home here. His first bed was borrowed from cattle. His early years He lived as refugee in Egypt. His earthly remains rested in a borrowed tomb. Between the manger and the grave, he said “Foxes have their holes, birds have their nest, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
The other night, at our Prayer Meeting, we were discussing the plague of homelessness we are seeing in Saint John. We were able to take our concerns to the One who knew homelessness so well.
This type of homelessness ought to move us to action as well as prayer, not just at this time of year but throughout the year.
I find myself sometimes languishing with ‘home sickness’ for Heaven. One day my scars, both those inside as well as out, will be gone and I will be truly home for Christmas. The love of Christ constrains us to share the Good News to the poor and homeless that this, though unfair, is a temporary state and a home is being prepared for all who call on the Name of the Lord. This season provides us with a cultural opportunity to do just that. Let us take the challenge and the opportunity to share the Good News, “By His stripes you are healed.”