It’s Halloween, 2019! This is the 6th year that we have spent this holiday in our current home and while we usually have several hundred trick or treaters, it started to snow tonight and it is in the low 30’s! I can’t remember weather this bad on Halloween in years. To say the least, people ringing the doorbell for treats were down significantly from prior years and I don’t think that we had twenty people visit us tonight.
Of course, we had the traditional princesses, super heroes and cowboys. But I was looking to see if we had any hobos visit us. That’s because I was watching Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, this morning on Fox News as he was talking about recent newsworthy items that involved the Catholic Church. Most of the items he discussed were outside the scope of this post, but he started to speak about Halloween and, among other things, he spoke a little about hobos.
It turns out that the term was coined in reference to people who were “homeward bound” – they were away from their loved ones and needed to find a way to get back to their homes. Homeward bound eventually was shortened to “hobo” and that’s the history of the word! Cardinal Dolan went on to explain that every believer is homeward bound… but I’m not so sure that people understand that.
That’s because we are on the earth – but not of the earth. Jesus made it quite clear that our earthly presence is temporary and that our eternal home is in heaven. In fact, Jesus came from heaven and spent time on earth, in bodily form, before returning to the Father in heaven.
It’s difficult to believe that earth is not our place of permanent residence, but the Bible is quite clear on this. After all, earth is all that we, as mortals, have experienced. And it’s beyond our comprehension that we could be from some place that we have never been to. It just doesn’t make sense to us. And how would we act in heaven? Will we have homes, and streets, and parks and all the other familiar items that we have here on earth?
We are told that we will have new bodies and that God will be our God and we will be His people. For most of us that is good enough. But we take that on faith, not first hand knowledge… That’s what faith is – believing in something that we hope for as certain but can’t prove and don’t see.
Our verse for tonight comes from the apostle John. He tells us the words of Jesus in John 14:1-4, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
My encouragement this evening is that we have an eternal home in heaven – Jesus tells us so. My prayer is that we will all do the best that we can here on earth, recognizing that we are homeward bound to heaven and eternity with God. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…