Heathdale flower 01st September 2022

No Place Like Home

What's behind the hunger of the soul for belonging or finding home? As Christians, we are on a journey where we will discover through the Bible that home is not a geographical place, but can be found in the person of Jesus.

Heathdale flower

Recently Sue and I had the chance to catch up with our son Jonathan for dinner. As we chatted over the meal, we came to talk about the places he has lived in since moving out as a 19-year-old. Jon initially lived in and around the Brunswick/Parkville area. As a struggling uni student, one of the skills he quickly developed was to discover the places that served great food at a very cheap price! As we reminisced over the years, we recalled the first place Jon moved to in Brunswick was in fact the house next door to where my dad had spent his early childhood! How amazing is that?! Over a 60+ year time span, two generations of Graces are joined, not only biologically, but joined by location!

When my dad first heard the address where Jon was going to live, he instantly started to recall what it was like there when he was just a lad. Jon reminded us of the nostalgic tone in my Dad’s voice as he spoke longingly and recalled many fond memories of growing up in Brunswick. It just seemed to underscore to us the truism ‘that there’s no place like home!’

As I recalled this moment, I pondered on why is the sense of home so important. I believe it has to do with the fact our home is a pivotal aspect of our life’s story. Our history and our heritage are tied up with our home. It’s where we first had the sense of belonging and our home has a profound impact on shaping who we are.

Look at the words the Apostle Paul uses towards his young charge in Timothy; in the New Testament Book of 2 Timothy, Paul captures this thought well:

"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus; to Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also." (2 Timothy 1:1-2)

Home is where our heart is, and this brings with it a deep sense of belonging. It has an eternal aspect to it as well and it is not necessarily limited to a geographical space.

Our Heavenly Father has put the sense of belonging and as such there are times when one can feel like a stranger in this world. This is something each of feels at times, but not everyone understands. Those with a philosophical bent seem to get in touch with this fact more easily than those who ‘live by the moment.’

Malcolm Muggeridge said in his book Jesus Rediscovered that from the time he was a boy, he had the sense of being a stranger in this world and that there was a world beyond this to which he felt he was moving.

The Christian message makes this hunger of the soul for belonging or finding home, clear to us. And this can help us to understand why this nostalgia for home can be in each of us and well understood by those who follow Jesus; followers of Jesus are able to grasp this understanding because their hearts have been illuminated by Jesus to see where our true home is, where we truly belong.

Sadly, many men and women in the world don’t quite know what is wrong when they experience this deep-rooted longing. They are aware of this sensation, and they may look to the calendar or the stars or nature to speak to them, to give them advice, direction and even solace to bring comfort to this lack of belonging. They know they are longing for something, but what?

As we have the privilege to speak into such matters with our students about their sense of wanting to belong, we are able to gently and respectfully remind them how blessed are those who follow Jesus. It is Jesus who is able to make it clear to us through the good news contained in the Bible, that we truly belong to Him, He is our true home.

My prayer is for the staff, that as we spend time with students, we will enable the students to unpack this mystery and enable each of them to draw closer to our God.


Ross Grace
Executive Principal