Humans have a natural psychic desire to be able to have a safe and secure space they can call their own. In our supposedly civilized society this need is enshrined in law to protect the majority. But the problem is that law and too often society is not compassionate and there are those who miss out on the basic necessities of life.
The great pain for asylum seekers is that they have lost their home. Forced from their own homes they struggle to find a new one.
In Jesus travels, we read of an encounter with a listener in the crowd who seems to have captured the great truth of his teaching. And what stands out is that Jesus wants to broaden this picture and teach us of the further realm of belonging. The passage looks at this issue from two perspectives.
The man wants to physically stay with Jesus. He wants to follow him wherever he goes. Initially Jesus acknowledges the basic need for a special spot to claim as ones own.
He declares, Foxes have holes, birds have nests, but the son of man has no where to lay his head.
What a fascinating picture Jesus presents to us. He is a free spirit, he is truly an itinerant preacher. Yes he had the family home back in Nazareth, but no longer dwells there. In fact he dwells nowhere. He follows his heart. Sometimes at a friends place, sometimes protected by a rock.
Where does life, where does his deepest urge lead him?
Out into the desert.
Across to a new village.
On a boat.
There is nothing predictable. It is truly a life moved by the subtle winds of the spirit. Jesus speaks of home not in physical terms but ones true home found in the depth of ones spirit.
Two additional examples follow Jesus initial statement. Two others show a great deal of enthusiasm for what he is teaching. He invites them to join his band.
The first says, Yes but I do have to go and bury my father. It sounds reasonable doesn’t it? But Jesus is making the point. Your spiritual home is the ultimate priority.
You have seen the vision of what I am teaching, but it’s so easy to lose that vision in its many subtle expressions. When you see it, act immediately.
If this example was addressing the issue of death, we could say the second example was about living. To Jesus call he felt he had to tell his family and bid them farewell.
Jesus again sees a danger. For example, one can be talked out of following Jesus by family members. How often has that happened?
Once you see the insight of Jesus you must act for its subtle and fragile in its early period. Remember we are talking about our spiritual home as opposed to our physical home. As Jesus own example indicates, you must discover your own heart, and follow the call of the spirit.
Jesus knew his home was in his unfolding story to be lived out by listening to the various personal realms of subtle internal experience. As one might listen to the subtle movement of the wind, so one can learn to listen to the still small voice of the spirits subtle whispers. Jesus seems not to have expected the physical following, but rather the imitation of his approach to life’s journey.
Listen to the voice of the spirit within your own life. This is the means for shaping your own unfolding story of discipleship.
How true is the saying… “your home is where your heart is”? This is virtually the wisdom of Jesus. Today we are challenged to reflect upon our own story and ask, what really are our priorities.
Is it the call of God?