There’s nothing like coming home. No matter where we go or how much we enjoyed being there, there’s nothing like coming back home. Sleeping in our own beds, hanging out on our own couches, even cleaning our own kitchens; there’s a huge level of comfort in just being at home.
This past Sunday, Pastor Rob reminded us that Easter is all about coming home. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and came back to life so that we could go back home to our Heavenly Father.
Rob told us the story of the prodigal son, the rebellious child who took his inheritance and squandered it on wild living. When he came to his senses, the son began the long journey home, rehearsing the speech that he would recite to his father. However, while the son was still a long way off, the father saw his son and ran to him. The son didn’t even have the chance to finish his speech before the father wrapped his arms around his son.
That story paints the perfect image of what it’s like when we decide to come home to God. We can squander our lives on wild living, choosing to do what we want and ignoring God speaking to us through our consciences. Even without the wild living, we can live our lives as if we were in control, refusing to surrender to God’s will. Wherever we’re at, though, when we choose to come home, God is there with his arms wide open, running straight toward us.
He doesn’t care what we’ve done and he doesn’t care how long we’ve been gone. All that matters to God is that we’re finally coming home. Going back home to God means going back to the place where we belong, the role for which we were created: honoring God and living as his obedient child.
Easter and the resurrection open the road back home; without Jesus’ death and resurrection we wouldn’t even have a way back home. But even though the way is open, we still have to make the decision to start down that path. Like the prodigal son, we have to come to our senses and choose to come back home.
For some of us, we may need to, for the first time, confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. Making that confession, opening our hearts to Jesus for the first time, is a great way to come home.
For some of us, we may need to recognize how far we’ve strayed from home. We know what it’s like to be at home with the Father, but we also know what it’s like to leave home to do what we want.
For some of us, we may just need to keep doing what we’re doing, staying close to home and enjoying our time with the Father.
Coming home is our choice. God isn’t going to force us to come back home, but he is going to be waiting for us. And, when he sees us, our God will run to meet us and wrap his arms around us. There’s no place like home when coming home from a trip and there’s definitely no place like home when coming home for eternity.