Ever since we left, we have been trying to get back home. Some, like the first – Adam and Eve, were expelled. Some, like Abraham, were called to find home. Some, like the Israelites led by Moses, escaped. Some, again like the Israelites, were taken as captives to a strange land. And some, as the Massachusetts colonists of 1643, declared for a Kingdom home, “with one and the same end, namely to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Home was originally where God’s people had lived and breathed with Him in a perfect relationship of intimacy. Apart from His house and His Kingdom, our homes, wherever outside Eden, in Ur, in Jerusalem, in Babylon, or even inÂ our belovedÂ United States, however grand, or safe, or even holy, will only be, as the author of Psalm 119 puts it, “the house of my sojourning.”
America has always been for people seeking a better home, a “land of milk and honey.” At the end of the 19th century, Pavel and Anna Kuric left the three children pictured above on their Slovak apple field in Myjava, to seek freedom and a fresh start in the United States. My great-grandparents gratefully found the independence they sought in America, but they also would find the Enemy death biding his time in the coal mines of Pennsylvania.
Our desire for home will never be fully satisfied in the Present Evil Age, no matter how free we are, no matter how “green”Â the home we get. In August Strindberg’s A Dream Play, a billposter dreams of a life made perfect through the possession of a green fishnet. Later, in possession of his human dream, he concludes, “It is green all right, but not the green I had hoped for.”
And God’s people continue to sojourn through this Present Age, trying to avoid placing our dependence and hopes on earthly powers and principalities, praying that His Kingdom comes to rule more and more of our lives. We can taste home now, Already in Part, but Not Yet in Whole, through Jesus Christ, the firstfruit.Â Â But we will never be and feel totally “at home” until “we see the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and we hear a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who is seated on the throne says, ‘Behold, I am making all things new’.”
On Independence Day, we can depend on God’s promise.