Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
Long for Home
It is well known that the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for traveling. Airports are filled with people flying to visit family and friends. When things go wrong for travelers during this busy time of the year, it can go very wrong.
In Denver, Thanksgiving in 2019 was marked by the arrival of a major snowstorm. Denver is used to getting its share of snow each year. However, this storm was particularly powerful. The result was that on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, hundreds of flights to and from Denver airport were canceled. Over a thousand people found themselves stranded at the airport overnight with nowhere to go as snow continued to fall outside.
With all the people sleeping in the airport, workers handed out blankets, baby formula, and diapers. Restaurants in the airport stayed open throughout the night so people could pass the time.
Stuck in an airport and longing for home, what do you do? You do airport kinds of things. You surf the web on your phone or computer. You watch a movie. You might go to a restaurant to get some food or have a drink. Maybe you meet someone and strike up a conversation. As difficult as it might seem, you might try to get some sleep.
This is like the picture the Bible paints for Christians awaiting Jesus. Philippians 3:20 says, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Those who are in Christ know that home is heaven where Jesus is. In Christ, this world is just a temporary stop on our way home.
Like people stuck in an airport, it seems like the time to head home is far off in the distance, and so we busy ourselves with the concerns we have here and now. The Bible describes two ways of living: One way of living is based on where we are; the other is to live based on where we are going. Those who live based on where they are the Bible describes, in Philippians 3:19, as having their “minds set on earthly things.” Those who live based on where they are going remember their “citizenship is in heaven.”
The difference is hope. With our hope in Christ, we will still work, take vacations, buy homes, enjoy leisure, and spend time with friends. However, in Christ, the hope of our life is not bound up in these things alone. Rather, our hope is bound up in the reality that one day we will get to go home and truly live. With our hope in Christ and the home He is preparing for us, we can keep the things of this world in their proper place.
Those stuck in an airport do not pin their hopes on having a great meal, a refreshing drink, or a stimulating conversation. No, they hope that soon they will be on an airplane headed home. In the same way, we need to remember where our hope should be: on Jesus and the fact that one day we will be home with Him.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Philippians 3:17-21.
See you Sunday,