home

So the theme for my sabbatical is home–
exploring home.

And that’s the home where we live–
where, with a friend, I’ve finished the first phase of a kitchen remodel,
completed the demolition part of a basement remodel,
and, with the help of other friends,
am well on the way to reconstruction–
as we continue to make this house our home.

That’s also the home that is extended family,
and we’re anticipating a beach trip
with my parents, siblings and their families,
and time with my wife’s sister and her family overseas.

There’s the home that is where we come from,
and we’re visiting the places in which I grew up:
the three places I lived in Germany,
and the one in Switzerland.
We’ll go by the address of each
house that was a home,
each church building, each school.

There’s the home that’s the geography we love
whether it’s where we live or not,
and I’m returning to the Alps.
We’ll be on trains through the mountains
of Switzerland, Austria and southern Germany.

There’s also the home that’s what we love to do,
and I love stories.
So I’m reading, watching some movies.
We’re anticipating seeing some musicals (in London and NYC),
and I’m setting aside some time to write–
something other than sermons, hymns and blog entries–
to write some stories,
and to play with ways to tell a story.

Finally, home is also those friends that are family,
and we’ll gather with some of them at Preacher’s Camp
for our tenth year of gathering as friends and colleagues
(And our fourth year of gathering with families).

Throughout it all, of course,
and wherever we are,
there’s the home that is my wife and daughters.

So in the interweaving
of experiences and memories of home,
I’ll take some time
to consider what it means to be home,
what it means to go home,
what it means to remember home,
what it means to celebrate home,

and as one writer I read suggested,
to reflect on how, through the years,
my answers to such questions have changed.

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