What’s “home?” During a recent family trip to Ecuador, “home” was often on my mind. There was anxiety about being away from home (house, friends, country). There was re-realization that family IS home. There was gratefulness for all my “homes” each time we saw a shantytown or begging children.
In today’s scripture, Jesus’ ministry is at the height of its popularity. People from all walks of life are jumping on the bandwagon. But Jesus cautions that following his teachings can not only be hard, it can (and almost certainly will at some point) leave you “homeless.”
As Christians, we aren’t at home on our home planet. Creation, in its broken form, tends to work in a selfish manner looking out for itself. Christians are compelled to act in a selfless manner. Recall “if you have two coats” (Luke 3:11) and “whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine” (Matthew 25:40). In a world that craves without ceasing, we give without ceasing. Absurd! (And necessary.)
Lent prepares us for Christ’s sacrifice that buys our Easter – our permanent home. As part of our Lenten observance, many of us give up a luxury. May I suggest GIVING for Lent, too?
Our ELCA and Southeastern Synod have well-regarded programs for helping “the least of these” in ways no individual can. Want to help victims of Hurricane Sandy who have no home? There’s Lutheran Disaster Response. Feed starving people worldwide? Lutheran World Relief. Help eradicate malaria? Lutheran Malaria Initiative.
It’s Lent and the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head so he’s chosen to stay with you. While the door to your home is open, how about extending it a little further to comfort those in need?
Gracious Father, you gave your Son who gave his life for us. Holy Spirit, remind us to share the blessings you have given us not just this Lent, but every day of every year. Amen.
by John Thomas