Our Need for Home
Open Your Bible
Genesis 3:1-24, Psalm 51:1-19, Psalm 16:11
I’ve lived in 17 different homes during my 32 years of life, counting every dorm room and short-term apartment. From a young age, I’ve attempted to nest in each one. In eighth grade, I painted my room lime green. In college, I carefully picked out every accessory for my dorm room. In my adult life I’ve nested hard, spending weeks and months picking out furniture, arranging and rearranging gallery walls until everything was just right. It’s not that I’m a brilliant interior decorator (lime green, remember?); I just want each place I live in to feel like a home.
We may express it differently, but we all long for home. We have an innate desire to be where we belong—or to belong where we are. I wonder if this longing can be traced back to Adam and Eve when they lost their home, banished from the Garden of Eden for good.
For their entire existence, Adam and Eve had operated one way within in the garden. Naked and free, they had no shame or fear. They were at one with God. Then in a moment, everything changed, and “the eyes of both of them were opened” (Genesis 3:7). Suddenly, Adam and Eve were aware of their nakedness. They were afraid of God and ashamed to be seen by Him. When they left the garden that day, they lost more than their home; they lost themselves too.
I wonder if at the root of our desire to know where we belong is the desire to know who we are. Not only do we crave a return to Eden, but a return to who we were within Eden: unashamed, free, in communion with our God. Now we are as David laments, “guilty when I was born… sinful when my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5).
We have an opportunity during this Easter season to grieve the loss of Eden and the loss of innocence. We can sit and contemplate our desire for home and belonging, place and identity. We do so with pain and sadness, but also with expectancy and hope.
In our quests for home, we need look no further than what we celebrate during Easter—an empty tomb. That is where our identities changed from sinful to righteous, from banished to welcome. When I know who I am in Christ, I always know where I belong. I always know where home is—in Him.
So this season we grieve and we celebrate. We are banished no more, guilty no more. We are ashamed no more because of Christ, the cross, and a tomb that lay empty. Let’s rejoice in Christ, the joy of our salvation. And let us give thanks to God who has revealed “the path of life to me,” the path leading home (Psalm 16:11).