Homeward Bound by Marta Keen is one of my favorite songs.
Christmas is a time when we tend to miss those far away, loved ones who have died, or maybe a longing for peace and unity. Perhaps you ache for somehow a little deeper than normal. Maybe every time you hear a certain song on the radio you want to weep. How could God allow you to ache so? Take heart friend, you are not alone. I experience this constantly. Maybe these aches are God’s way of getting our attention and calling us back to Him. Whenever I feel sad I must bring myself back to Jesus. It’s not easy but Jesus must be my rock, my strong tower. He must be my home. Home. What does that word mean to you? Is it full of sweet memories or failed expectations? Maybe you grew up in a rough home but you dreamed of a home with love, snuggles, stories, and a shoulder to weep on. “Homeward Bound” reminds me of coming home to those we treasure most but more importantly coming home to Jesus. Each of us have turned away from God. (Is. 55:6) Yet, as a loving father he stands with arms open. Ready to receive us into His presence.
“Homeward Bound” makes me think about all of us turning away from God. Like little children, we think we know better than God. This song makes me think about the prodigal son. Luke 15:11-32 The youngest son journeys to seek his fortune with his father’s money. The son lives freely until he is broke. I think that’s a picture of God’s grace. God sometimes allows us to relish in our sin, in our pleasures for a season. But soon the boy became destitute. So the prodigal son spends his days feeding pigs……gross. He longingly looks for the pigs food as appetizing. Which is saying a lot since pig grub isn’t exactly gourmet. Who in our life is hungry for Jesus? Who in our life is metaphorically feeding pigs or doing the most menial task? What if the farmer had reached out to the prodigal son? If you have Jesus start opening your mouth and giving people the hope. The son decides to go back to his father, ask forgiveness and see if his father will extend enough grace to allow him to be a servant. That must’ve been quite difficult for the son to do that. Coming back to Jesus is always right but it can be humbling.
I can imagine the boy shuffling his feet as he reaches the familiar bend close to his home. His mouth waters at the smell of the kitchen food which conflicts with his churning conscience. “But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” Luke 15:20. Wow. The father runs to embrace the son. The father was watching, anticipating and waiting. He wraps the boy in a hug and welcomes him home not as a servant but as a son, a child, an heir. The boy then asks for forgiveness, is forgiven and is given a feast. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.
Jesus is waiting for us to come home to Him. Maybe you are wandering in the world, thinking it will satisfy. The person that you long to fill you never will. That position you’ve always wanted, that person you’ve always wanted to notice you, or the child that your soul has always craved will never completely satisfy. Believe me, I know. Only Jesus fills completely. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” Matt. 11:28.
So this Christmas think about the greatest gift that God already gave. Himself. Run Homeward bound to Jesus. Return to Him. When I see Jesus face to face I think I will cry at His beauty and tremble at His presence. But then Jesus will show me His hands with the scars and with my name written there. Then I will truly be home.
Jesus wants you to come home to Him. What holds you back?
Homeward Bound by Marta Keen.
In the quiet misty morning
When the moon has gone to bed
When the sparrows stopped their singing
And the sky is clear and red
When the summer ceased its gleaming
When the corn is passed its prime
When adventure’s lost its meaning
I’ll be homeward bound in time.
Bind me not
To the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling and I’ll return to you somehow.
If you find it’s me your missing
If you’re hoping I’ll return
To your thoughts I’ll soon be listening
And in the road
I’ll stop and turn
Then the wind will set me racing
As my journey nears its end
And the path I’ll be retracing
As I’m homeward bound again
Bind me not to the pasture
Chain me not to the plow
Set me free to find my calling
And I’ll return to you somehow.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16.