Dorothy got it right in her infamous quote, “there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home” from the Wizard of Oz. Like many of us, I love to travel and visit other places both near and far. But, honestly, one of the main reasons I like it so much is there is always a promise of going back home. Being under our own roof, with the people we love, and with the comfort of knowing what to expect in our own surroundings, is something many of us can deeply relate to.
A Deep Longing
I am convinced one of God’s favourite themes in the Bible is about homecoming or going Home. Throughout different stories in Scripture, this is the main focus. As a matter of fact, one could even claim that this is the central theme of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, as it relates to the promise of a coming Messiah:
- The Israelites, as slaves, longing to leave Egypt and become their own nation
- The Exodus story and the Israelites finally heading into the promised land
- The many stories of the Israelites spending 40 years in the desert, “preparing” to live in the promised land
- The Israelites becoming a nation in their promised land…only to mess it up many, many times
- The people of God going back into exile in Babylon with yet another promise of going back to Jerusalem
- New promises of a Messiah coming to save them
- Multiple stories of the nation of Israel failing to fully follow Yahweh
It’s no wonder some of the most beautiful songs and poetry written were from when the nation of Israel was in exile, longing for a promised land or returning to Jerusalem. Then Jesus uses parables in the New Testament such as the Prodigal Son to teach us. The younger son, after messing up his life, clearly longs for home and to bring things back to its “normal state”and into the arms of his unconditional loving father.
As we carry on in God’s grand narrative, we too, find ourselves wired for the same longings, the same desire to go home, and the same tension of wanting to be in the safety of wherever it is that we feel fully secure and fully at peace.
Like No Other
I am also convinced that this longing is at the root of why we enjoy the advent season. We enter this season full of hope, full of anticipation, full of this longing for our Saviour to come. This is why it’s one of the most wonderful times of the year (cue Andy Williams) for many Christians. We know there is a homecoming like no other. God sent us the ultimate homecoming, and if we believe in Him, we are fully secure and fully at peace.
I look forward to celebrating this advent season with our school community. We’ll do it through the elementary Christmas Concert, the Honorary Members Banquet, Presentations of Learning Night at the secondary campus, and through many classroom get-togethers or parties. In all Christmas events, may we all unite as we long for our Saviour to come.
There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home. Merry Christmas!