Home. It is meant to be a place of love, support, growth, forgiveness, encouragement, honesty and new beginnings. Later this week, we will get a closer view of the grace of homecoming when a wayward son returns home.
Homeland. Countries value their homeland as well. Israel was freed from slavery in Egypt, but had wandered 40 years in the wilderness before they returned to the homeland that God promised them. They celebrated the removal of the chains of slavery in Egypt and looked for new beginnings in this new homeland. Passover was celebrated with the assurance that God delivers us from those things that enslave and bind us.
A devotional writer said, "Home is where God is." We know we are at home when we meet as church around God's gracious, freeing Word and the Holy Communion that reconciles us as brothers and sisters in Christ. Welcome home.
Joshua 5:9-12 (NRSV)
9 The Lord said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt." And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.
10 While the Israelites were camped in Gilgal they kept the passover in the evening on the fourteenth day of the month in the plains of Jericho.
11 On the day after the passover, on that very day, they ate the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain.
12 The manna ceased on the day they ate the produce of the land, and the Israelites no longer had manna; they ate the crops of the land of Canaan that year.