My home church called it Homecoming Sunday. I never thought anything of it because the same verbiage was used in my first call too but I’ve heard that other places call it Rally Day or Kick Off Sunday. Maybe there are other names.
I’ve been thinking a lot about home lately. We have been in Germany for a whole year. Actually, it has been more than a year and maybe it should feel like home now. I know that that’s not usually how it goes though. Moving to a new place usually requires two years until you actually feel settled — and that’s when the Army moves us again. We’ll have three years here, we think. Then again, we thought that in Texas and we were only in our last home for one year.
I still miss church. I’m so grateful for Zoom worship but it’s not the same. I miss being together in that place with all the people and feeling that thing that happens when two or three gather together in Christ’s name. Churches will soon celebrate this day. They’ll bless backpacks and Sunday School teachers and welcome a new season of programming but I can’t help thinking that it will be different. It won’t feel like it always did because so much has happened. We are different and everything we do still feels a little strange even when it is familiar.
I muse about this and a lot more in my upcoming newsletter with all kinds of rituals for a whole season of Homecoming. This is one of the offerings that is too long to fit into the email because there is only so much space in your inbox.
I wanted there to be something like a house blessing but not a house blessing. This could be something that is offered as something to take home and bless the space in which each person dwells. Or it could be used in the context of worship for the space where the people gather together.
Blessing for Homecoming O God, we come here to live and move and have our whole lives within these walls. Make this a space full of love and laughter. Fill these rooms/this sanctuary with hope and imagination because this is a new season. We are different than we were. We inhabit this space differently. Our hearts are open to what could be so help us to find your strength in all that we dare to dream. We come home to you, O God, in this place. Inspire us to find your love in every crack and crevice. In every corner and chair/pew, let your grace hold us and your love restore us again and again. Bless us, O God, in this space in which we dwell. Bless these walls and the ground below our feet so that we might find your steady presence in everything outside of this sanctuary. We pray with your blessing. Amen.
As always, you are welcome to adapt these words as needed. I am grateful for you and your ministry, dear pastor. I continue to pray for you.