On Being Homeward Bound: Part 6
Monday, Dec. 18, 2006, will be International Migrant Day - a day to remember and act on behalf of all who have journeyed from their home nations seeking a decent living for their families, seeking education and opportunity for the children, seeking an end to oppression and impoverishment. Dec. 18 will be a day to notice and appreciate migrant workers in our midst: to be thankful for those who pick and prepare our food, those who care for our children, those who bring talents and life-giving traditions from their countries to ours.
In preparation for International Migrant Day, Women's Division executive Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D., has prepared a series of meditations entitled, "On Being Homeward Bound." You are encouraged to read one each day from Monday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 17. Throughout the week, begin to think how you will mark International Migrant Day. Sunday, Dec. 17, review all the meditations, reading them as a whole. Offer your plan to God in prayer. Monday, Dec. 18, act.
Christ, Our Homesickness
by GLORY E. DHARMARAJ, Ph.D.*
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and name him Em•man'u•el, which means, "God is with us."
• Matthew 1:23
Jesus - the One who chose to make his home with us - Emmanuel, God-with-us - takes on a radically humble angle of vision for his ministry by seeing the world around him through the eyes of the dislocated and the homeless. He takes on the form of a migrant. God - who makes God's home with us in Jesus the Christ - is the same God who restores us to our ultimate home: God.
The ability to recover the image of God in us is like coming home. The ability to help recover the image of God in others is like coming home. Seeing each other into shared healing, shared kinship and shared family resemblances is like coming home.
We come home at the call of the One who continues to ask us to offer our full presence to God in the midst of a culture fraught with ambivalences, seductive brutality and docile conformity. We come home at the call of Jesus the Christ.
The God of mission offers us plenty of outbound services with those who seek a home in the midst of us. The same God engages us in our interior journey to God, offering plenty of services in our homeward trek. The Gospel is, after all, about homecoming, with its ceaseless and simultaneous outbound and inbound calls to the homeward-bound.
It is time to respond to our shared homesickness. Christ lives and acts in us as homesickness, as a yearning for wholeness. As Will Lamartine Thompson, 1847-1909, wrote in hymn No. 348 in The United Methodist Hymnal:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling…
Come home, come home;
you who are weary, come home.
Let us pray:
Our God, who is "the great homesickness we could never shake off," enable us to see the majestic wholeness for which you have made us. We thank you for being our home, our wholeness forever. May we be found faithful to your call to love you and our neighbor, now and all year. Amen.