When I was a little girl, we actually played outside. Imagine that?! We road bikes all over the neighbor hood and yes I road to the levee by myself. We built forts, we caught “mud bugs” in the ditches, we explored the woods (yes I got an all over case of poison ivy), made a race way of my neighbors circle drive and road around it one hundred times, played basketball (all mine were granny shots, between the knees, but I didn’t care), we rode horses bareback (I did not fall off, I can’ t believe you would suggest such a thing!). It was a good outside childhood 🙂
And then the bell would ring. . . .What a disappointment! Already, playtime is over? Day is done? That meant it was time to come home. My mom rang a bell at dinnertime and as it grew into evening dusk, I would run or ride my bike home.
When God rings the bell home, it’s not a disappointment. There is the final call home, but today I’m talking about another call, another ring, another voice. Many of us have a home. A place that warms our heart. That settles our frayed nerves after a busy day. A space that offers security. God’s voice calls you home, when you need what home offers. God offers His Hug, His Hold, His Hand through “home.”
46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”[a] 48 But [b]Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
A ringing bell to come home is a call into His presence. A voice that rings our heart toward home may be. . .a once a year birthday dinner with dear friends in the Christmas holiday’s in a festive, warm restaurant. A call home, may be an afternoon nap. A voice to call a parent just to talk for a few moments. A call home is how we welcome a friend or child as they enter our threshold. How about dropping an anonymous gift to someone you know struggles with loneliness? A call home may be to reconcile a strained relationship. Maybe to take extra blankets to a homeless shelter, they often need men’s socks too (call first.) A Home moment may be just sitting and enjoying your Christmas Tree. It may be sitting at a friend’s house by her fire having tea. (I was blessed enough to have that one year with three friends and I left thinking, “I’ve just come home for Christmas!”)
Listen. . .For His Voice, the bell that calls you home. Home matters. It’s easy to take for granted when we forget their are orphans waiting endlessly for a place to call home. It’s easy to take for granted when we forget people with mental illness are living out of card board boxes in a make shift home under an overpass. It’s easy to take for granted if we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. A call home will ring true as His voice in your/their heart. It’s His voice calling you home for the holidays. Embrace home. Offer home. Welcome someone home (you may be the one the make a Kingdom of difference for them!).
Lastly, gift someone with an embrace that hugs them home this holiday season.