A tree with white blossoms bends over a small hill covered in a cluster of white and yellow daffodils along the edge of the reservoir in Central Park

The Paradoxical Nature of Home

The daffodils are in bloom. The cherry blossoms are arriving in all their pink glory across the streets of the city. The earth, our home, is alive with color and rejuvenation, and the tide of spring brings forth a fresh feeling of hope.

As we hear stories about loved ones being vaccinated, as we continue to pray for those who are ill and those who care for them, we also envision a time when we can gather in person safely in our sanctuary, our church home. Yet even as we glimpse a return to a pre-pandemic time, we admit that the world is forever changed. Many have come to understand that their church home is not anchored in one physical place but is made up of the community itself — the very body of Christ — spread far and wide, across the internet and, indeed, across the world.

In this season of Easter, we might consider the paradoxical nature of what “home” means for God. On the one hand, the incarnation exhibits how God finds a home among us. Jesus, God embodied, grows up in a particular house in Nazareth, eats meals with ordinary people in their homes, and suffers in solidarity with us in our humanness. On the other hand, the Gospel of Luke reminds us that, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). Jesus is constantly on the move, meeting people where they are, never anchored to one sanctuary, one place. This dexterity of movement in the world allows Jesus to travel with his fellow sufferers, but it also hard on him personally — for even Jesus surely longed for a secure place to come back to.

Jesus is constantly on the move, meeting people where they are, never anchored to one sanctuary, one place.

For so many in our world today, the desire to have a place to come back to, a true home, is out of reach. As the pandemic continues to exacerbate inequalities, homelessness remains a pressing concern. Starting this coming Sunday, April 11, at 10am, Discovery, Trinity’s adult education program, will explore Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work, Evicted, and we will ask hard questions about this very topic. What is it like to live in a time when many are evicted from their homes into a life of poverty and instability, and how are we, because of our faith in Jesus, called to help people find “a place to lay their head”? What does it mean for the body of Christ to act in solidarity with those who suffer, creating a new definition of home? We start by listening to other people’s stories, as we will do by reading the stories in Evicted, and by connecting those stories to a much larger one: the story of God drawing all of us home. I hope you will join us. 

Summerlee Staten
Executive Director of Faith Formation and Education

Resources as we prepare to look at pressing issue of eviction: