We used to go visit my cousin in Chicago. I thought my cousin Josh was super cool, and I still do. I have so many fond memories of him. We spent hours together playing sports, video games, or hanging with our families.
We were there for one Fourth of July. We headed to the park to watch the fireworks. The wind was pretty terrible that day, and it blew firework pieces on us. I remember feeling the burn of the fireworks. I was not thrilled with this. I looked at my aunt and told her how I felt, but she kind of passed on it. I was like, “Hey, I am getting burned here.” Ok, I never said it out loud. My polite boy side would not allow that. That was one of the few times at their house I could have run for home.
Home is different for each of us. There are so many things that help us feel comfortable and at home. Some of those things are found in our family homes, in our church, or in some other thing that brings us comfort.
What is home? Is it true that “Home is where the heart is?” In a week where we reflect upon our country and everything God has given us, what makes us feel at home? What would be the one thing, if it were missing, just would not be right?
When my mom married my step-dad, Rod, she married a younger man. Shhh, don’t mention that I said that. It’s because she is so young at heart, that’s why! (Love you, Mom). Regardless, as a result, I got a lot of cousins that were younger--a lot younger. I was fifteen years older than Austin. So I was this high schooler who loved to play with my little cousins, but didn’t think I had made such an impression on Austin. Every year my brother and I would take our summer money and put on a fireworks show for our family. It was a blast--some of the greatest memories of my life! I didn’t know what an impact that had on Austin.
I moved on to college and was gone a lot, but managed to be home for most 4th of July holidays, so once again, my brother and I put on a great fireworks display. When I was at the seminary my Grandma told me that every year Austin was sad if I was not there to do the fireworks. Who knew that kid’s feeling of home was our fireworks show! Weird, I thought. How did that event become something he found so necessary? But as I thought about it, we created a lasting tradition that he counted on and enjoyed.
Jairus, in the Gospel reading from Mark for this Sunday, was a powerful man. He probably had control over a lot of things in his life. But one thing he didn’t have control over was the life and death of his daughter. When his daughter died, his world and his home were rocked! He was in shambles, and he ran to Jesus for help.
What is your home? Do you feel peace this Independence Day, or is your home in shambles? What does Jesus want for your home?
This week at Mt. Calvary we will talk about home. A reading from the Old Testament will help us really understand home and what Jesus wants for us.