Saturday, November 30, 2013

Celebrating Holy Days Too

My wife and I were blessed with a visit from her father for a couple of days at our new place here in Franklin before the three of us headed to her brother’s farm in rural Tennessee to feast with about twenty other family members. With a turkey and ham and all the fixings, we had a rich time of food and fellowship. What made it even more special is the fact we share a common faith.

Of all the many things I am thankful for this year at the top of the list is the gift of a faith shared with family. I try to never take for granted that when we all get together during the holidays they truly become holy days, special times for us to celebrate our shared heritage. There are few things more satisfying to me than being part of a household of faith that stands together through the tests of time.

Friday, November 08, 2013

The Meaning of Home

With the holidays around the corner it is natural that our thoughts turn to hearth and home. But exactly what is the meaning of home? Many of us think of some idealized version of a house, perhaps situated down a lane or upon a hill, surrounded by a bucolic landscape, maybe in New England or some other picturesque setting.

However, as the saying goes, “a house does not make a home.” What most of us mean when we conjure visions of home is the sense of togetherness we experience with the people we love. It is our relationships with loved ones that constitute a home, not real estate, no matter how beautifully situated.

So to quote another popular saying, “home is where the heart is.” If there is anything that Linda and I have learned over the course of the last couple years is that “home” has become a moving target for us. Home is wherever we are with each other. And as Christians, we’ve adopted the truism that “In Christ” is our permanent address.

In her groundbreaking book The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters, Sarah Susanka writes, “Although we normally associate the word “home” with a place that’s built out of bricks and mortar, in fact home is much more than that. It is a feeling and a way of being in one’s life rather than any specific place.”

“We are all looking for home, but we’re looking with the wrong tool,” adds Susanka. “We are trying to find home through more square footage, when in fact the quality of home has almost nothing to do with size. Instead, it’s to be found in the qualities of space rather than the quantities…” This holiday season, here’s to sweet fellowship, regardless of the square footage.