The world is not my home

I gave ministry this week towards the end of worship. It had been a popcorn meeting, with insufficient space between political rants about the debt ceiling. But I was called to stand, to add one more voice to the mix before we rose.

I was thinking about home as meeting for worship began. Specifically, I was thinking about how I feel like an outsider in most places in my life. There are a couple of songs that reference the idea that home is something that comes after that rose up for me, one being a Sarah Jarosz cover of a Tom Waits tune, "Come on up to the house", which has the line: "The world is not my home, I'm just passing though". Another was Amazing Grace, with the stanza:
Through many dangers, toils, and snares
have I already come.
'Twas Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace shall lead me home.
It's not that uncommon to think about home as being elsewhere, and for me, that sense of home is located pretty firmly in the New Creation. When I was recounting my ministry last night to a friend who had missed Meeting on Sunday, but had heard that I had spoken and asked me about it, I needed to clarify what I meant by the New Creation. What I'm referencing here is a passage from Fox's journal:
Now I was come up in spirit through the flaming sword, into the paradise of God. All things were new; and all the creation gave unto me another smell than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, and innocency, and righteousness; being renewed into the image of God by Christ Jesus, to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The creation was opened to me; and it was showed me how all things had their names given them according to their nature and virtue.

Fox had this experience of the paradise of God, of being taken up into the Garden of Eden as it was before the fall. My sense of this is that this is the Kingdom of Heaven and that we can access the Kingdom, through Grace, here on Earth.

My message continued, that as I was sitting in the silence, I was thinking about how I find that those times when I have been permitted to glimpse this paradise, this sense of rightness and pureness are when I have been submissive and obedient to the will of God.

So I did the only thing I could think of. I asked God to give me something to do and almost immediately, it was made clear to me that a small task that was already on my to-do list was a Thing I Needed To Do. Knowing that I had a small, manageable, actionable Thing, as well as knowing that God was listening to me in my time of need made me feel incredible grateful for His Love, for His Presence in my life.

Elizabeth Bathurst