Home Is Where the Heart Is
We’ve embraced a LOT of home due to the lockdowns. And I mean a lot—from doing more chores around the house, annoying our siblings, and adding inches around the waist! Lockdown after lockdown after lockdown, with the COVID-19 virus mutating around town, has made us admittedly antsy.
Because of the amount of time we’ve been spending at home, and the rising COVID cases around us, it is obvious that home and the hospital have become the mega-stage for God’s move in this season. For those of us who are not called to serve in the medical arena, it is important to ask God, “Father, what are You trying to teach us at home?”
God’s Divine Setup for Discipleship
First, let us remember that home hits a tender spot in the heart of God. It is the primary place for learning about Him and His ways. We have a glimpse of this in Deuteronomy 6:5-7:
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
The Lord wants strong family relationships where parents teach their children about Him. Although churches and schools are places of learning about God, it is in the home where foundations are set; where children and youth glimpse God’s reality through their parents. Practicing biblical commandments, cultivating a passion for God, setting Kingdom priorities, and learning important values like forgiveness and patience—these ought to be developed first at home.
Our recent lockdowns have given families the opportunity to develop a stronger understanding of God and His ways. The question is: Have we been using our lockdowns wisely to learn more about God? Seeking Him should be the priority of every family.
In this last trimester of 2021, One Voice Magazine will dive into different angles of HOME: What makes a strong family? Can there be healing in a broken home? What happens when people are displaced from home? How about orphans needing a home—what are their stories? And what is the cry of the migrant worker far from home?
We’ll also dip into some larger perspectives: Why should the plight of tribespeople be woven into our national consciousness of home? Why is Israel considered home to those who call themselves Christians? Why is home a good paradigm for national revival?
There really are many, many angles and stories to explore with HOME as the topic. In fact, four months (one trimester) may not be enough! There might even be a need to spill over editorially into the first trimester of 2022 to peel away layer upon layer of this fascinating subject!
Pain and the Invitation of Home
It’s possible that HOME may be a painful topic for some of you reading this due to wounds inflicted by family members. Or it may be that family was absent from your life, nowhere near any of your significant milestones. Or perhaps you view your friends as more of your “real” family than blood relatives. If you said yes to one of these scenarios, then I truly, truly invite you to dive deeply with us into the concept of HOME. After all, it is at home where all life journeys start; where all of the greatest stories begin.
IT’S WHERE YOU BEGIN.
In the bosom of our Father in Heaven, you and I were first conceived; yes, in the home and heart of our Family Maker. Before the foundations of the world, we were given great thought (outnumbering the grains of sand on the seashore) and a name. God wrote pages of life for us to fulfill (Psalm 139). When it was time, our Father in Heaven released us into the world, our temporary home. He wooed us with the message of how He sent Jesus to bring His family back HOME, back to Himself, and He calls us to invite others like ourselves back HOME.
And until we finally see Him face to face, our hearts long for our true Home in God. We glimpse Him in the Secret Place where He peers through the lattice of our hearts to say, “Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me. See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” (Song of Songs 2:10-13)
Doesn’t this thrill your heart?
That being said, I bid all of you, dear readers, a warm welcome to One Voice Magazine’s third trimester! Let’s run faithfully in this last leg of 2021!
One with you in this journey called life,
Janina Marie Rivera
Janina Marie Rivera is the author of the book, A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear and has co-authored the devotional, Dawns, published by OMF Literature. She is a contributing poet in the books Joyful Light and Whitmanthology: on Loss and Grief by Various Authors. She is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine.