Thursday, 27 September 2012

"If My Heart Was a House You'd be Home"

If My Heart Was a House, Owl City
Some people say home is where the heart is. I didn’t used to understand this. It was just something people said. But now I believe it, and it gets more true every day.
“Home”. It is a word often used in positive descriptions, and it’s often associated with happy memories. I am lucky enough that home creates feelings of love, comfort, security and happiness. I think of my parents who have been there through everything and who love me unconditionally. I think of my sister who I love to pieces, and who I always learn something from. I miss her when I am not at home, and frankly if she could come to uni with me I would love it. I think of my mad little Jack Russell, Tilly who is always there to welcome me home, happy and bouncy. I think of my house, the walls which tell the tale of growing up, good days, bad days and generally average days. I think of the marks in the doorway made when my sister and I were measured after our growth spurts and the creaks in the floor boards when you walk down the corridor. Each home tells a story, one of pain, pleasure, ups and downs. And when a home plays such a major part in your life, how can it not capture your heart?
But in today’s society, the meaning of the word “home” is becoming distorted. A word which should conjure positive emotions is instead doing the opposite. More and more, people are trying to escape their home because it has hurt them. Home has become a poisonous, dangerous word and something which should be avoided. It is no longer a place of belonging and security, but of instability and rejection.
Bearing this in mind, where does that put the church? As a place which so often uses “home” and family metaphors to describe it and the relationship its people have with God, is its future in danger? Does this make church simultaneous with the places one tries to escape from? Does that make God the same father figure who inflicts pain? Does this mean church drives out stability and acceptance? Is church, therefore, a place where battles rage and peace seems miles off? How do we keep people coming to church and being part of it when we have to wrestle with its negative connotations?
I believe, that as a part of the church and as the children of God, it is more important than ever to demonstrate the true meaning of “home” and “family” through our actions. We need to show it in the way we welcome new people into church, and in the way we accept and love them unconditionally. We show “home” through the security we have in Christ and his word, and through the way we honour one another; not just on a Sunday morning, but in our daily lives too. More than ever the world is crying out for help. It is crying out for love. As people of God who know the unconditional love and security faith brings, we need to stand for the values which seem to be getting lost in today’s world, where it is often every man for himself.
This was talked about on a Sunday at my church. This is their vision for the future, to make church a home again, not just a house. To make church a place of unconditional love and acceptance instead of judgement and coldness as it has been in the past, and all too often in the present.  My heart is with Jesus, and to be a part of a church where I can celebrate his love and mercy with others who feel the same way is amazing, it truly is coming home.

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