The Home We Long For

It seems like each year there are more books being written about why people are leaving church. One of 2023’s most popular was The Great Dechurching: Who’s Leaving, Why Are They Going, and What Will It Take to Bring Them Back? Although much of the book deals with the questions mentioned in the title, the authors frequently return to point out what makes the church and our worship assemblies so important for our relationship with God. One of the writers, Jim Davis, makes this great analogy about our gatherings.
“When I lived overseas, every so often I would go onto a US military base. Immediately when you pass the gates, you are on US soil. All the signs are in English, the fashion is American, and you begin to see great dining establishments like Pizza Hut and Burger King. You pay in American dollars, and you see glimpses of home in things like free refills, American architecture, and police cars that make the ‘correct’ siren sound. When on base, we were a small group of very different people far from home but, in a way, home at the same time. That is what the Sunday gathering is for us. We come together as a diverse group of people feeling acutely that we are not home—a people who, in some mysterious way, leave the world we live in to worship the King of our new kingdom. And, for a moment, even if we aren’t truly there, we can taste the home we long for. Our Sunday gathering has a centering effect on us, and to the degree we make the gathering a priority in our lives, we will taste our true home and flourish as citizens of heaven on earth.”
As we gather again this week, I pray that you will be blessed by the reunion and long even more for the home we will all share with the God who loves us.

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