by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter January 24, 2019

Week by week and step by step we are walking through the season after Epiphany. The wise men encouraged us to look to the sky and leave the homes we know to discover what God is doing in the world. The baptism of Jesus calls us to this same kind of wisdom as we have reflected on his baptism and wandering in the wilderness for discernment and direction. We have resolved to see the world in a new way on this journey. Our biblical texts during these weeks call us to see the miraculous in the ordinary experiences of life, like a miracle at a wedding when water turns to wine.

This week we follow Jesus home, but it isn't as heartwarming as you might think. The journey has changed Jesus; a mature messiah has returned to his home synagogue only to find that home is now the journey itself and not a destination.

Worth Parker writes about this kind of journey. Parker is a writer, a lawyer, a veteran and a sometimes fickle fan of the south. He writes of his love affair with his home in this month's folklore project from the Bitter Southerner. "Home is the place we run from or to, depending on the winds that blow across the oceans of our lives. Sometimes the world comes calling, sleek, seductive, and so dripping with real and imagined promises it draws you away from home and everything you know. Sometimes you outgrow the frailties

of home or have to get some distance to fathom its beauty. Growing up in Georgia, I was quick to find the faults with my home while simultaneously clinging to many of them."

Ultimately, Parker finds a redeemed appreciation for the place of his birth by accepting what Patterson hood calls the "duality of the south." It is to be of and from a place but to want more for and from it.

This is the tension of the Kingdom of God inherent in Jesus' calling for us to take up our crosses and to follow him home. We are called to love and leave our homes. We are taught to pray for the redemption of the world through which our homes and communities and families will fundamentally change. For the will of God to be made real on earth as it is in heaven it means that we must find and forge our home together.

Walking with you,