What's that really mean to you? Seems like a pretty straight forward question. And there are probably as many answers as people. And animals, too, for that matter, don't you think?
I mean, everyone has their own idea of what defines "home" for them. A place of comfort where you can be yourself, for example. A sense of belonging or being loved or respected or appreciated. Family. A place of safety and security. Somewhere to which you have a special attachment.
There are many more reasons, I'm sure, that people have a sense of "home" somewhere or with someone (and, of course, particular variations of each for each individual).
Take a minute and just think about that: what is it that really gives you that sense that you're "home?" What speaks to you or moves you to a sense of being "home?"
I'm thinking that we can develop a criteria for what might make "home" for us, but, even if we could deliver the criteria perfectly, it may still not deliver that sense we crave. Because it's the "sense" part. That feeling of home is relational. It's as much what we give to it as what it gives us. It depends on the interaction between us and that stuff. That's what brings us comfort or safety. In that relationship is the wholeness which is home.
So maybe think about that for a moment. What do you bring to that place you call home?
Now, follow me on a little excursion with that idea.
I believe that we all come from God and, after this life, we all return to be with God. I learned an apt description of that: we go home. I believe that's a good way to describe it, not because this life isn't "home" as we would understand it in this life, but because being with God is wholeness and completeness of spirit that says "home" to me.
That's not to say that we shouldn't seek that sense of home in this world. We do, and, like I said above, it's about relationship. And Jesus teaches us how.
In John 14, Jesus spends a fair bit of time trying to explain this "new" commandment he's given the disciples, to love as he has shown them love. And he says that "those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them."
Loving - and living - as Jesus teaches us, brings us closer to God. It brings us into relationship with the world around us in a way that brings us closer in our relationship with God. "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Matthew 25:40). We are all family of God.
Jesus brings us home.