I spent several days in New York City this week and am feeling energized by the experience. As in the past several years, I attended the ThrillerFest writers’ conference, held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central Station.
The conference is always stimulating and each year I find that being in the “Big Apple” challenges and inspires me in a multitude of ways. But no matter how much I learn or how much fun I have, I’m always thankful and relieved to come back home. That’s one of the supreme gifts of travel — to return home and see the place as if for the first time.
In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus uses homecoming as a powerful metaphor of the life of faith. Why do people all over the world in every generation love this parable? I think it’s because we can all relate to the experience. We are all God’s prodigal sons and daughters, and it comforts us to know that no matter how far we wander, we can always return home, and when we do, we’ll be welcomed not with an “I told you so” but with a robe, a ring, and a celebration in our honor.
Wherever your journeys have taken you this week, whether to bright mountaintops of wonder and fulfillment or to shadowy valleys of loneliness, confusion, and despair, I hope you will make your way home to Community Church of Providence this Sunday.
I look forward to being with you in worship and to receiving the gift of my good friend Charlie Hartman’s sermon. He’ll be sharing with us about coming home to the spiritual treasures that can be mined in our hearts.
With love and warmth,