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St Johns Southgate

10 Aug 2017


A single dad by the name of John woke up to the sound of a baby crying. He looked at his phone to see the time. It was 5:15am.

With a blank expression on his face he got up, put on his dressing gown and went to get bubs. Before he’d even made it to the cot, his four-year-old had entered the fray. “Dad, can you make me breakfast? I’m hungry!” “Just a minute, Tyson’s crying. What are you doing up, anyway?”

Home can be chaotic.

Retirees, Helen and David, sat in their armchairs on a beautiful spring morning as the sun shone in the window. They each nursed a cup of English Breakfast as they talked about the episode of Midsomer Murders that they’d watched the night before.

Home can be peaceful.

Silvia got home at 7:45pm on a Friday night. She closed the front door behind her, put her bag down on the bench and opened the fridge. All she found inside was a half empty tub of yoghurt – two days past its use-by – and an unopened packet of cheese slices. She went back to her bag and rummaged around for her phone so she could order some takeaway.

Home can be lonely.

Ian got home from work and walked in the front door. He smiled as he heard the sound of his loved ones talking and laughing. “Hello, Dad!” one of the kids yelled, as he walked into the dining room. “Hi!” After quickly kissing his partner on the cheek while they shared a raised eye-brow and knowing smile, he sat down to join the evening meal. Stories of schoolyard intrigue were shared with lots of laughs all ‘round.

Home can be joyful.

Sadly, home can also be a place of anxiety, fear, anger and violence.

The word ‘home’ can mean a lot of things and it certainly doesn’t always conjure up thoughts of domestic bliss. But home wasn’t even perfect for Jesus of Nazareth.

As an adult, Jesus went back to his hometown and it wasn’t a happy homecoming, it was devastating. So much so, that he found himself unable to perform any miracles. Home should have been a place of refuge and peace, but he went home to find himself scorned.

But Jesus didn’t stay there. He moved on. He journeyed on to build a new home – to build a new community known as the church. The buildings we call churches are not the church as such, they are houses of God primarily because they house God’s people as they come together in the family home to break bread.

Admittedly, the church is like any other home – imperfect. But the church can help us find a true sense of homely peace because it’s built around the everlasting goodness of Jesus. As a spiritual home, the church can, and should, represent something greater even than the loveliest earthly home we might imagine.

For me, coming to church is like coming home. It’s not always perfect, but because it’s built upon someone who is – namely, Jesus – it inspires me and gives me a glimpse of what a real, true, perfect home can be and will be in eternity.


Tom Hoffman

Pastor - St Johns Southgate Church

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