vagabond: (adj) having no settled place or home.
Do you ever get that sense? You know, the one where everything goes strange. Nothing feels real or settled or at home; you don’t feel at home, even in your own home? Or perhaps you’ve experienced its brother-feeling: standing on an outcropping above a beautiful landscape, or hearing a piece of music that brings you to tears and you don’t know why. Something beautiful strikes you, both as other and as home. A home you’ve never entered, but one that you are always on the way to? And you get this feeling, this longing to be anywhere but here?
The beautiful message of Christianity is that we are all on the way home, and that it is a home that is running out to meet us on the way. We are already and not yet there. We are in transition. We are heading home, but right now we are vagabonds, aliens and strangers in the world. The feelings of discontentedness and homelessness are some what natural. All change that has ever happened in history is because someone acted on these feelings and wanted to change what they saw in the world.
The best kind of changes are ones that bring the Kingdom of God, our ultimate home, closer to earth. And it is these kinds of changes that will eventually usher in the Kingdom in its full, when Christ returns. In a promise of hope, John writes, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new!'” Home is coming.
But until then, we are on our way home — often times the long way around. As the people of God, the Church pursues the Kingdom of God, loving and serving and blessing the world just as God does. In this, we are not merely vagabonds but ambassadors, those who are intentionally sent to wander in another land, to commune with its people, and to bring it into better relationship with the one who has sent them. That is our role, to usher in the Kingdom of God through ambassadorial work of love, forgiveness, service, and grace.
So, may things go strange. May you feel that odd feeling of belonging to an anywhere but here. May you know that you are a vagabond and an ambassador proclaiming and bringing the Kingdom of God, the final, perfect home of heaven, to earth. May you know that that home is pursuing you as well, in everything beautiful, in everything, true, and in everything good. And may you come to rest in the perfect love and grace of the one who sits on the Throne, saying, “I am making all things new!” He is bringing us all home.