Lord as Home

There is a sense of diaspora in this Sunday’s readings.

Elisha leaves home to follow Elijah:

The LORD said to Elijah:
“You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah,
as prophet to succeed you.”

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat,
as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen;
he was following the twelfth.
Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said,
“Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you.”
Elijah answered, “Go back!
Have I done anything to you?”
Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,
and gave it to his people to eat.
Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.

The Psalmist finds comfort, a path, a home, and inheritance in the Lord:

You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
You are my inheritance, O Lord.

The opening to the letter of the Galatians reminds them of their days of slavery and wandering:

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
Then the Gospel story from Luke shows Jesus wandering on the journey:

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
“I will follow you wherever you go.”
Jesus answered him,
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

And to another he said, “Follow me.”
But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”
But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”
To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

audioericThe readings come as a welcome reminder to me this week. I am living out of a suitcase, away from my apartment, my spouse and my schedule. I feel a bit like I am floating. When we are wandering, we can call on the story of the Israelites, led from slavery, through the desert, to freedom. We can call on stories of John the Baptist and Jesus retreating to the wilderness. We are reminded that the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head. We must find rest and inheritance in the Lord when we are feeling ungrounded and far from home. We are reminded that even when we have a sense of home on earth, this is not our dwelling place for eternity. We will be home, but we are not home yet. Our bodies are gifts from God, temporary homes to learn and love. Yet our roots must be in the Lord. We are called to be agile, light on our feet, ready to follow the Lord at a moment’s notice. It is a good challenge to work this week to ground ourselves not in comfort, but in the Lord.

When have you felt far away from home, ungrounded, wandering?

What or who gives you a sense of grounding, consistency and home?

How do you find your inheritance in the Lord?

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