Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Only Visiting This Planet

Where is home?

Is it your current address?
Is it where you’ve spent most of your life?
Is it where you grew up? Or where your children grew up?
Is it where you are or where you'd like to be?

Since living and leaving overseas, home has become a complicated, if not occasionally confusing concept.

I've called a lot of places home. Definitely not as many as some. But probably more places than most.

Rochelle, IL. Marietta, GA. Franklin, TN. Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Greenville, SC.

Just to name a few.

A nomadic Mongolian family - at their "golomt". 

One of my favorite words in the Mongolian language is "Golomt" (That's an English transliteration, and the word has absolutely nothing to do with any Lord of the Rings characters). There's no English equivalent, really. It's not necessarily the place you were born, or the place you grew up, or your current address. It is essentially "the place you go home to." The word has people and place connotations.

I don't know where my "golomt" is anymore. Not really. Wherever Renee' is. And for the both of us, being together with our children. That's home, for sure.

But there's no place, really - and place is important. Yet place becomes increasingly ambiguous.

When we moved to Mongolia, we knew we were foreigners. No questions. No denying.

When we moved back to the US, we looked like locals - but still felt like foreigners. Things changed. People changed. We changed.

In the end, the message of the old Larry Norman album is truer than ever:

We're only visiting this planet.

For sure.

And it's okay.

As believers and followers of Jesus, there’s this Abrahamic lifestyle of living by faith we must embrace. After all these years, I’m not comfortable with it. Yet, even then, there’s something adventurous and joyful about it. Something daring. Something crazy. Like Bilbo Baggins leaving the Shire without his pocket handkerchief. It sometimes feels not doable.

But it is doable.

It’s doable because there is hope for a golomt that we have yet to see and have never visited. But when we arrive there I think we will see it clearly - this is the “Home” I’ve always wanted; the "Golomt" I’ve been looking for all my life; the "Home" to which all other small pictures of "home" ultimately point.

This hope makes right-now-faith even more critical. In a world that feels increasingly unwelcoming.

Feeling less at home, actually makes me feel more at home - because I know my "golomt" isn't here anyway.

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated ... and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ ... So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God
— The Apostle Paul