Recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco meeting with refugee and displaced migrant families, Rev. Kent meditated in his sermon on the nature of “Home” when no permanent place can be claimed in that way. The experience of those fleeing persecution and war may be far from our insulated lives here, but feelings of dislocation, disruption, and exile are not always as far from our experience. Home is more than a place, and much more than our own personal security. Home is our hallmark way of being in the world, as children of a just God and a compassionate salvation. Where is Home in us if it isn’t a place? Here is a prayer by Rev. Kent offered by our worship leader Rebekah Easton-Hogg last Sunday: for all who are seeking such a house not made with hands.
We are living away from our homes, lord. We are living in loneliness of heart and mind; some of us are living in the isolation of our greed or ambition; some are separated from the people they love, the places they have known, the life they expected to have by now. We are living apart, away, afraid for our health, or for our future, or for the future of those we love. So God of the exiles, of the Exodus, God of the desert, God of the sick and healer of souls, may we forever make our home in you. May we forever return not to place, but to the embrace of your purpose and power, no matter where we find our body, no matter in what condition. Your justice is a house not made with hands. Your love are the bricks and mortar we use to shelter others. Gratitude to you is our currency, service to others is our hallmark and native dress. God of all who are not where they want to be, help us to all whom you call us to become. Without moving at all, we return again and again to the home you have made of us, rejoicing and giving thanks. In your mercy, may find the way to such justice and such peace. Amen. –Rev. Kent H. Gilbert