Home is about belonging, connectedness and shared memory. Home is a matter of community.” This is one of the sentiments with which Steven Bouma-Prediger and Brian Walsh starts their book “Beyond Homelessness

The shear problem of homelessness, of displacement in the world today, makes this a book everyone should read. It offers us a fresh and honest account of ourselves as displaced. “We are a culture of displacement” to quote a phrase from the book.

In stark contrast to our utter displacement is the deeply rooted need to belong, to be placed. In an ever shrinking, over-populated, virtual world we rush out to grab pieces of superficial, virtual real estate. We occupy our Facebook, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn spaces in order to belong. We join a myriad of groups and networks in order to orientate ourselves in a four-dimensional ether plasma.

And throughout all of this activity we try to silence the niggling feeling that, with all of the positives of the virtual social world, we are being displaced even more. That we are increasingly disconnected from place, in a sense of our own embodiment, as an essential part, like all other, of Creation. It seems that we have lost our rooting points in the web of life.

It is here, even thought others might not, that I agree with Steven Bouma-Prediger and Brian Walsh on the importance of the Christian faith. To quote them: “[The] Christian faith is a faith that is always placed. Placed in good creation. Placed in time. An incarnational faith.”

It is the loss of our “primal” place in relation to God that we became homeless, drifting into the wilderness of displacement. Thus we journey still today, with the frail memories of a home lost, a garden of provision, abundance and tranquility left behind.

However, we were not left with only the memories of a home lost, we were also gifted a vision of homecoming. A vision that is rooted in the garden-home we left behind, a place that grew into a garden-city. The strength of this vision is not rooted in the mere existence of this fabled garden-city and the promise of a final homecoming but in the ability to come home to it in the present.

And it is in this homecoming that the refrain of Bouma-Prediger and Walsh, that home is a matter of community, pulsates with life. The very act of homecoming implies a homecoming with other, extending the invitation which we ourselves have received.

Thus, we are invited to a homecoming and challenged to be homemakers for others, by extention inviting others to share in this gracious homecoming.

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