There are many of us who believe that there was sometime in the past that was a much better time in our life than the present days. It was a time when there were less pressures in our life, less tension, a time when the summers were warmer and the winter’s less harsh. Whether it was a Christmas that seemed merrier or a birthday that seemed more joyous, there usually is sometime in the past that carries a vision of a sweeter yesterday.
Some social scholars say that these are universal feelings and go mainly back to our childhood days which seem to walk close behind us no matter how old we grow. We think of “going home”, and remembering gardens, holidays, special occasions, and special meals. We remember bread just baked, pies set out to cool and a birthday cake made exactly to our requests. For most of us, father was a rock we could come to when we had made a serious mistake. Mother’s hands could soothe away the bruises and the cuts, and life held a security so strong and warm that we could not know how fragile it was.
“Going Home”. This phrase has a host of different images but all with a common theme. When we were divided and shaken, or when life dealt us a cruel blow, we could stumble home and be made whole. Because of these images, one of the saddest things we can imagine is one of “homelessness”.
It should be no surprise then that the phrase “going home” has been used for centuries as returning to our God. That “other” home which we have not seen and do not understand, must have all the heart and passion of the world’s best home; a heavenly father who senses our slightest needs, and stands with loving outstretched arms to receive us into joy and a feeling of absolute safety. When we are divided and broken, when we feel that the world, our friends and our family have dealt us a cruel blow, we can limp to that other home in passing from this mortal life to the eternal, and be made whole.
The social psychologist may not be right when they say that our sense of a lost glorious age, is merely a shaded memory of our childhood. Perhaps it is a memory of something before that, of another home and another father who loved us then and loves us still.
Written in memory of Marleta. May she rest this Christmas in heavenly peace.
Pastor Hans J. Lillejord