Monday, 30 June 2008

Home is where the soul is

A hot June sunny evening by the beach with a big football match on is not the perfect evening to be running an event but the Old Market Theatre was still busy with people who had come to think about what home means to them and how this relates to God.

There was lots to do from drawing the journey of our lives on a map to moving around a geographic representation of the UK; watching Judy Garland as Dorothy discover that there's no place like home and listening to Mervyn Weeks of Off The Fence telling us what it's like to be homeless. We built a symbolic house out of our thoughts of what home is and spent some time thinking about what it's like for those from Zimbabwe to not be able to go back to their homes.

Ultimately we came to the understanding that home is about belonging and being part of a community because we are all made in the image of God (see our Seeing Is Believing event) - who is himself a community of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We all want somewhere to belong and can all find a home with the God who wants to make his home with us (John 14 verse 23).

At the end we all had the opportunity to respond by lighting a candle from the central flame that had been burning since the beginning of the event and setting it afloat in our own version of the old tradition of leaving a light burning in the window to welcome sailors and fishermen home while a prayer by St. Augustine was put onscreen.

Almighty God,
you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts are restless
till they find their rest in you;
so lead us by your Spirit
that in this life we may live to your glory
and in the life to come enjoy you for ever;
through Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.