Blessed… There’s No Place Like Home

After King Herod died, an angel from the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up,” the angel said, “and take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel. Those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” Joseph got up, took the child and his mother, and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus ruled over Judea in place of his father Herod, Joseph was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he went to the area of Galilee. He settled in a city called Nazareth so that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled: He will be called a Nazarene (Matthew 2:19-23, Common English Bible).

I enjoy going places. When I was eleven, my parents took my sisters and I on a trip covering most of the western United States. I saw some of the most beautiful places in the country. I loved Crater Lake in Oregon. San Francisco is an absolutely beautiful city, particularly if you can look past Alcatraz. The Grand Canyon is magnificent. I also saw places I am in no hurry to see again. I wasn’t at all thrilled looking at the remnants of a forest fire while driving (well, my dad was driving, I was riding in the back seat) through Idaho. And. I am in no hurry to go back to the Petrified Forest.

Fast forward a few years and there were two canoe trips in Canada and a white water trip down the Guadalupe River. I have seen the Scottish countryside and the Fjords in Norway.

There have also been some of the strange things in life. On a trip to California two years ago I saw snow on top of palm trees. That was weird. The WI-Fi password at the hotel in Roswell New Mexico that was “UFO2014” or something like that.

We don’t always like the travel we make. Take Mary and Joseph for example. They couldn’t have been thrilled with their forced vacation to the thriving metropolis of Bethlehem. Yet that was a dream vacation compared to their next trip. As we have talked about the past couple of days, Herod was after their newborn baby boy, Jesus. Herod wanted the King of the Jews dead. That caused a second forced vacation, this time to Egypt so they could save the life of their son and God’s Son.

No matter how long I am gone, I am always glad to get home. Sometimes home means something different than it does at others. When I was in the Navy, being home might have been being back to Norfolk after a cruise. At other times being home meant going home to Pasadena on leave. Today it is much the same. Sometimes going home means going to the parsonage in Sweeny and at others it means going to the condo Cindy and I own in Lufkin. It is the perception of home.

Depending on who the commentators and Biblical scholars are that you read along with who wrote the Gospel you happen to be reading, Joseph may or may not have been from Nazareth before Jesus was born. I feel pretty certain, when Mary and Joseph made it to the safety of Egypt, it felt like that could be home, at least for a while. Still, when the opportunity came to return to Israel, they made the journey. Matthew makes it sound as though Mary and Joseph had lived elsewhere and settled in Nazareth to avoid yet another threat against Jesus. It would be a recurring theme in his life.

When ever I returned home, in whatever that sense might be, I absolutely understood Dorothy’s words from the Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.” I feel pretty certain Mary and Joseph felt the same way.

We may all feel like that in a physical sense when we have been away. Yet in a spiritual sense, we can be at home anytime. We are at home anytime we are in the presence of the Father. Mary and Joseph seemed to stay in the presence of the Father. And, for their efforts, the Father guided them each step of the way so they would know where they needed to be.

The same can be true for us too. We can enter into God’s presence at home of away when we pray, when we go to worship, when we fellowship with other believers, when we study the Scriptures and many other ways. Then, when we enter into God’s presence, we go to our real home once again.

How do you go home? How do you enter into the presence of God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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