Tuesday, September 18, 2012

History, Homecoming, Our Future

   Our church celebrates homecoming this Sunday. It is both an event and a word that implies movement back to a place that is important to us. We are invited to come home. It is really the stuff of the Gospel, as Jesus came to show us the way back to the Father. I also think it's the stuff of our history and our future here at Epworth. 
   Let's consider locations that are important to the overall story of God's work in the world.
  • The first that comes to mind is Capernaum, on the northern beaches of the Sea of Galilee. Matthew 4:13 labels it the home of Jesus. In addition to being a place rich with people who knew the Hebrew Scriptures, it was also on a very busy trade and travel route, the Way of the Sea or Via Maris. It is referred to in Matthew 4:15, and predicted as important in Isaiah 9:1.
  • The second that comes to mind is Golgotha, where the Gospels locate the crucifixion of our Lord. It's well known and documented that the Romans who killed Jesus would have chosen a spot just outside of town on a busy highway so that everyone could see it. John 19:20 supports this.
  • Finally, travelers to the Holy Land learn that the very site that Revelation 16:16 says will be the final battle of Earth (Harmagedon in the Hebrew) is in the Jezreel Valley where, it just so happens, the two busiest trade routes in all of ancient times crossed. 
   Do you see a pattern? These places where chosen to host critical episodes in history. But notice that in each instance they are located along a significant travel route. When we think about going back, or returning home, to the places of our faith they just so happen to be places well known and heavily traveled.
   We want people from our history to return to Epworth for Homecoming. But we want more than that. We also want new people to arrive and call this home in the future. One critical piece of such hope is our location. Thanks to our leadership and our congregation, we are getting even closer to taking our place out on one of Columbus' busiest routes. 
   From the earliest parts of the Church's story, location has played a role in getting Word about the Way spread quickly. Epworth is taking a page from that same good Book.
   See you Sunday, Scott

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