A few weeks ago, we had our air conditioner break down. When we bought our house, we weren’t sure how well the unit would function, considering the home inspector couldn’t turn it on during the winter. Thankfully, a home warranty was included in the sale of our house, and the company covered the lion’s share of the replacement unit. It was a huge relief from a potentially massive financial burden, and a beautiful bit of evidence of God’s providential care.
The couple of weeks we were without air conditioning were some of the most hot, muggy weeks of the summer, and we frequently found ourselves sleeping over in the accommodating, hospitable homes of friends and family. We were thankful to have cool sleeping conditions, and the community and enjoyment we found in spending time with those who opened their homes to us was invaluable. However, you know as well as I do that Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz spoke some real truth about the human condition with these words: “There’s no place like home.”
We long for stability. We long for permanence. We long for a place to put up our feet at the end of the day, breathe a sigh of relief, and know that we’re in a good place. We long for a place of security and safety, where we can get the rest we need not just to survive, but to thrive. We long for home. It’s not just about comfort. It’s about having a place where you belong. Home is a fundamental human need.
So what do you do when your home feels less like home and more like a prison? When Egypt became more slavery than home, God’s people sought a way out…and God provided a way. When people of Jesus’ day felt the weight of the Law, condemning them in their brokenness, He went to the cross to free them from that brokenness and all its effects. He turned a lack of belonging to God’s family that came through the Law into a rekindled relationship with their Heavenly Father that could only come by a righteous sacrifice. God’s house became home again. God’s people found a place to belong again.
In my estimation, the word “immigrant” is a word that describes someone who is looking for home. For a place of belonging. For a place of stability and safety. A place that looks more like life and freedom than death and slavery. As human beings, then, and especially as God’s people, we are immigrants. We are a migratory people, moving from places of slavery and brokenness towards places of fullness, from Egypt to the Promised Land, from the tyranny of a killing Law to the City of God produced by the Gospel.
One of my favorite songwriters, Derek Webb, put it well in his song “A King and a Kingdom:” “Who’s your brother, who’s your sister/You just walked past him, I think you missed her/As we’re all migrating to the place where our Father lives/Because we married into a family of immigrants.” God’s people, the Church, the Bride of Christ, married into a family that moves.
My point, after all that, is this: you can’t hear the words of Jesus, “Come, follow me,” take them seriously, and stay stock-still, remaining motionless. His invitation and call is a call to movement. Movement means change…changing circumstances and changing scenery. Change is hard, but change is life! Movement is hard, but movement is godly, for our church and for you personally.
So where is Jesus calling you? How is he inviting you into places where He is already working, inviting you to join Him on the mission of loving and serving people, like He does. He might use a little bit of life change to spur you on to connect with new people. He might use a new interest or hobby. He might use a change of setting. Or, perhaps, he could even use something as mundane as a broken air conditioner to set you up for some really great conversations. He’s faithful, and He has meaningful things in store for those who walk with Him. Here’s to the journey ahead!
Adventure is out there! Pastor Aaron