Friday, July 11, 2008

I Wanna Go Home

I am a big fan of country music. As Trace Adkin's put it, they are songs about me. Recently, Blake Shelton released a new single, "Home". Granted the song is about going home to a girl, but the sentiment is the same. Homesickness. I find myself in the strangest bout of homesickness I have had in a long time. It is strange, first of all, that I am having it at all. Ever since I got married, I have had a sense of calmness when it came to being away from home. No matter where I go, my husband is with me, with his love and devotion- the same I got from my parents- and that is a great source of peace to me. I still have that calmness.

What I am more homesick for is the like-mindedness of Christians firmly grounded in the Lutheran faith. I do get that at church, but I don't see those folks during the day. The daycare I work at is Lutheran, however, the employees, save two or three, are not. Those that are have a basic understanding of what it means to be Lutheran and have no interest in engaging in theological conversation. That, it seems, is reserved for pastors and professors. Right now, I come home, talk about theology with my husband, read the Wittenberg Trail, and listen to podcasts of Issues, Etc. (especially during naptime!) for my daily dose of decent theology.

Does home have that? Well, yes and no. Each and every congregation is a work in progress because we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God and the knowledge of God. However, in a world where society revolves around the individual with church being just one of the activities available during the weekend, home has a place where the community still revolves around the church. Maybe not as much as it did when the church was founded, but pride, identity, and history are all rooted in the church in that area. Is it perfect? Nope. That's a good thing. If it were, I wouldn't be able to attend because I am not perfect. I fight the devil, the world, and my own sinful flesh on a daily basis and fail miserably. However, where I am right now, I feel detached from the people at my church because they live in a different town than I do. It is hard to be encouraged by your brothers and sisters in Christ in your congregation on a daily basis when you only see them on a weekly basis. That is something that doesn't happen at home! Everyone is related to someone who belongs to the church. It's the curse and the blessing of a small town. If good friends are needed for encouragement and correction, those good friends need to be of the same faith as I am, and I find myself wanting to go where the concentration of those people is much higher.

What if I don't get to go back home? Well, God provides, as He always does. He gives the good gifts of a devout and faithful pastor in my congregation, a devout congregation, a devout husband who is usually up for a good theological discourse, parents who are just a phone call away in encouragement and admonishment, brothers and sisters in Christ who I never knew existed on the WT and the CAT41 lists, and good and decent radio programs like Issues, Etc. that teach, uplift, and sustain me in the true Christian faith. If God says that's enough for me then it is. God's word does what it says. But, truthfully, I can't lie. I want to go home.