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In the last Life in the Spirit meeting, Pete Paine talked about the importance of home. The familiar adages “home is where the heart is” and “home sweet home” ring true when we think about how magical home is to the individual.
Ah, home. Doesn’t it make us stop and think. Even the sound of it is warm. The song ‘Home’ by Zero 7 always sounds warm to me, with the low bass and soft vocals.
Home may not be the place where you were born, or where you grew up, but there is surely a place one can call home (albeit a temporary one) here on earth.
Read my excerpt on Home by playwright Perry Miyake, who describes an American-Japanese soldier coming back from war, waiting to have a meal in his kitchen as his mother prepares food on the stove. It is very much like my home.
In King’s Church where I am a part of, the elders are exhorting the church to meet in homes on a weekly basis. They have called it Church in the Home and there are currently 11 homes across the city, hosted by wonderful people and wonderful families. This was preceded by the Open Home model, and before that a formally structured cell group.
The vision is for the church to be a community, to have food, pray, break bread together, look after one another in our homes, and most importantly – to become part of a living church family outside of Sunday meetings.
I am personally excited by this vision, and I totally believe that we are going to be a church of thousands as we continue meeting together and lifting each other up in spirit. I currently go to Rachel Rongong’s in Heaton Chapel, Stockport, where I have already seen miracles happening (a grandmother saved, an ex-convict’s life turned around, excellence in exams, a healed shoulder)
The theme of ‘home’ reminds me of a scene from the movie Gladiator, when Emperor Marcus Aurelius (played by Richard Harris) sits his favourite general, Maximus (Russell Crowe) down and said, ‘Let us talk, you and I’. Listen to how Maximus describes his home:
Mc: You have a son. Tell me about your home.
Mx: My house is in the hills above Trujillo. A very simple place. Pink stones that warm in the sun. A kitchen garden that smells of herbs in the day, jasmine in the evening. Through the gate is a giant poplar. Figs, apples, pears. The soil, Marcus – black. Black like my wife’s hair. Grapes on the south slopes, olives on the north. Wild ponies play near my house. They tease my son, he wants to be one.
Mc: Remember the last time you were home?
Mx: Two years, 264 days and this morning.
Mc: I envy you, Maximus. It’s a good home. Worth fighting for.
Yeah, not before he sends him off on a final mission in which Maximus never sees his home again. At the end of the film when Maximus is lapsing into death, he has visions of going home. There are scenes of him walking down the hills to his wife and son, who are waiting for him at home.
Oh the rolling hills!
So we do not need to wait until we are stabbed in the sides by Commodus (oh the evil Joaquin Phoenix!) to experience home in that metaphysical way.
Experience home with the church! I encourage you to get yourself to any one of these Church in the Homes and I guarantee your life will be transformed. Kelly Shennan has shared her vision of the ‘Church in the Home’ on the church website. You can read her entry here.
For those of you who don’t know, King’s Church’s website has won a £1000 award from Premier Christian Radio for best church website in the UK. How do I know this? I read the Times of Restoration magazine, which you should totally do! It’s quality journalism.
Acts 2:42-46 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, sharing in meals, breaking of bread, and to prayer… They met in homes and shared their meals with great joy and sincere hearts, all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.