On our Lenten journey this year, we’ve explored in various ways what it looks like for the follower of God to come home to him. And now near the end of Lent, readying us for Holy Week, we learn what it looks like to live in that house—rejoicing in our position as adopted children of God, never the owners of his house.
Threaded throughout our explorations remains the theme of what it means to be a human being. In many ways, this week’s sermon depicted again the two different options of being human illustrated so compellingly by the parable of the two sons. We can either recognize our prodigality, remembering that we are dust, and run straight into the arms of the Father who bequeaths us his very kingdom, or we can withdraw in our pride and presumption, becoming the sole ruler of a very small and cramped kingdom, the realm of our own heart. Yet this place will never be home for us the way that God’s kingdom promises to become home, for our self-righteousness, bitterness, and pride ultimately won’t allow us to feel at home even with ourselves. Instead, God longs to give us our true home by replacing our center of being within ourselves with being in him.
What does it mean to come home to being in God? It means realizing we didn’t build the house, loosing our grip from those idols we use as home, facing honestly the junk we carry that simply doesn’t belong in this house, becoming conformed to the likeness of the home into which we come, and recognizing that our entry rests entirely upon grace, upon the person of Christ inviting us to share in his inheritance. It means accepting that to be human entails complete dependence upon this Christ, who shows us how to share in his life in order to know the Father, who grants life to those who are made from dust, yet made in his image.
“Remember that you are dust”—and what freedom there lies in accepting this with joy, allowing God to be God and knowing ourselves to be his little children, loved, redeemed, adopted, and given a home in him. Let us rise and go to our Father, that we may receive mercy and grace to make our homes in him more fully.
Listen to Fr. Stewart Ruch’s sermon from last Sunday, “The House.”