One of the biggest challenges of living in Alaska for me is being so far from my family. It is a deep ache in my heart when I think of them all and wish to put my arms around them. I am so grateful that God has called me here for a time and love the people here. But there is a place and a people who share my history, warts and all, that tastes, smells and feels like home. Home, the place where friends and family gather, year after year, is important to us all.
Jesus returned home with his disciples for the first time. He left a young man on a mission and returned as a prophet with a following. He returned a phenom, and was rejected. His mother had suffered the same rejection and derision when she found herself with child. It is hard for those who know us best to see who we have become, not because they can't or won't, but because it leaves them out of the picture. They do not see themselves in us anymore. And yet, Jesus was still completely from his hometown, one of many children, a part of the stories, the tastes, smells and feelings that make home. May we hear God's invitation to accept rejection as fear and discomfort, and as an invitation from others to love beyond the circumstances, as we would our families.
Today, I ask God to help me see the discomfort and hurt in others that is their motivation. May we make a home for those who have none today, and find ways to serve others when we are out of our element. May God grant us an extra measure of compassion so that we might love others as we love our families and our homes.