We’re home. And we came by another way: Highway 20 instead of Interstates 90 or 80. As we crossed Iowa, I remembered travelers near the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew.
Magi from the east journeyed to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem to honor “the newborn king of the Jews.” There may or may not have been three of them. They may or may not have ridden camels. They were not exactly welcomed by King Herod – though Herod pretended otherwise. When they found the newborn they presented three gifts. Warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they headed home another way.
Joseph heeded a dream to avoid Herod’s wrath by taking the family to Egypt. This is the first trip for Joseph and Mary as Matthew tells the story; there is no mention that they had to travel to Bethlehem. So, I wonder, did they call Bethlehem “home” for awhile? Eventually Joseph took the family from Egypt to the land of Israel but it didn’t feel safe there so they settled in Nazareth. In both instances, they made their way to another home.
Life is like that. Sometimes it is a journey of going from and returning to the same address. The house itself remains the same. The travelers themselves may be changed by the trip – what they saw or who they met or an experience they shared.
Other times life is a matter of leaving – even fleeing – what is no longer healthy, life giving, life affirming. Sometimes you have to move to a new place, begin again, create a new home. Like it or not, travelers are changed by this kind of journey.
The good news is that no matter where we are or where we go, we are never alone.
Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live. Psalm 23:6 CEB
Jesus: “Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.” Matthew 28:20b CEB