Welcome Home

February 7, 2013

Excerpt from Psalm 91

"My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."

Reflection by Martin B. Copenhaver

Home.  It is hard to think of another word with as many deep resonances.  Whether we are responding to the presence or the absence of something called home, the word itself seems to echo in the deeper recesses of our hearts.

A home is so much more than a house.  A home is a place, or a dream of a place, where you feel uniquely at home, which is to say a place where you feel like you belong. Some of us have an actual place like that, a place that comforts and enfolds, a place where you can seek refuge from the world and are refreshed to face the world again.  Whether you live alone or with others, it is a place where you don't have to explain everything.  It is a place where you can be yourself, for better or worse, and usually it is both.  And, in the home of our dreams, at least, it is a place where you feel accepted, loved even.  There are not many places like that in the world, and we all need such a place.

The authors of scripture talk about God in some of the same ways, as a shelter and a comfort, as the one who accepts us just as we are, who enfolds us with care and equips us to serve.  Perhaps that is why scripture speaks of God as a home.  "God is my refuge and my fortress," writes the psalmist, using the words that would later inspire Luther's famous hymn, "A Mighty Fortress."  Elsewhere we read, "Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations."  Imagine:  God is our home.

If the home in which you live is a sanctuary or roiled with conflict, grand or plain, a real place or merely the stuff of dreams, we all have the same gracious home in God.  So welcome home.

Prayer

O God, thank you that you have been our refuge, our dwelling place, throughout all generations and are so even now and even for me.  Amen.

About the Author
Martin B. Copenhaver is Senior Pastor, Wellesley Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Wellesley, Massachusetts. He is the author, with Lillian Daniel, of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers.

Order Spring Cleaning: 2013 Lent Devotionals - new from the Stillspeaking Writers' Group and other favorite UCC writers. Lent starts Feb. 13.

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