Tuesday, June 29, 2010

when home is a pain: church being in exile?

“I yearn for home” is a line by Pádraig Ó Tuama from the Ikon Dubh album. Hearing it today is a reminder of pain, of the profound disorientation that’s taken place in my understanding of home, caused by the move from New Zealand to Australia. Home used to be a place of comfort, of acceptance, of belonging, found among my previous Opawa church community with creative, intelligent, relational companions, found seated at our South Island holiday home, with those broad vistas to lake and mountains.

But by coming to Australia, the Taylor family has been forced away from home. We believe it’s the call of God, asking us to leave home.  So now the concept of home is simply a pain, a reminder both of isolation and distance, and of obedience. And part of me fights against ever wanting to call this Australian land home!

I think, intuitively this is actually really helpful. You see, isn’t there a danger of home being domesticated around what is familiar and comfortable. I was struck by this when reading Luke 19:1-10 recently, and realising that Jesus does mission not in his home, but in the home of Zacchues. Incarnational mission in this text was not about being comfortable, but about being in someone else’s home, seated at another’s table. It’s meant to be uncomfortable and alien.

Pádraig Ó Tuama has another song, Maranatha, in which he sings “I found my home in Babylon.” (more…)

Posted by steve at 05:26 PM