Homesick for Heaven
A devotional thought from Christian George for “The Return”
Have you ever been exiled? Exile does not always take the form of Jewish imprisonment in Babylon. Every time you spend the night in a hotel, you are living in a place that is not your home—you are an exile.
After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they were exiled from Eden. No more sinless perfection. No more walking with God in the garden. Ever since God “drove man out” (Gen. 3:24), humans have been yearning to return. Throughout Scripture, the theme of exile continually surfaces because it describes with such precision humanity’s homesickness—our longing to live with God in sinless intimacy, holiness, and togetherness.
Fortunately, Jesus Christ has paved a way back to Paradise. But not in the way some might think. Instead of immediately taking us to heaven when we accept Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, Jesus leaves us on earth to accomplish a mission—His mission. As followers of Christ, we are called to point others to the right path. By meeting the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of those traveling through this world, we extend God’s kingdom of peace.
Every one of us is commissioned with the task of showing others how Christ’s love can satisfy the deepest longings of their lives. Evangelism can take creative forms—a kind word at the right moment, a compassionate note, or a covered dish. Jesus once said, “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat” (Matt. 25:35). Being hospitable is also a form of evangelism, for Jesus once said, “I was a stranger and you took Me in.” As Christians, spreading God’s love involves being as much as it involves doing, and for that reason, Christ’s love can be manifested in endless forms.
Pause and Reflect
• Read 1 Peter 2:11. What are some ways you have applied this passage to your life this month? What are some ways you can encourage others to live as exiles, pilgrims, and resident aliens?
• How can you spread God’s love to “fellow exiles” in tangible ways this week?
• Whom do you know who has a spiritual, physical, and emotional need? How will you help meet that need?