“Mid pleasures and Palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home!” These are the words to the song Home, Sweet Home that was adapted from John Howard Payne’s 1823 opera, Clari, Maid of Milan. Although you may not be familiar with the play or with the song, I’m sure that you are quite familiar with the sentiment they express. I know that each time I have been able to travel, regardless of how palacious the place or my accommodation might have been, there is something about returning to my humble residence that gives me a feeling of peace and security. Whenever I pull into the driveway and see the colorful array of flowers that I planted with my own hands, then I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am home. You would think that if given the opportunity to visit faraway lands that somehow home would not seem all that great.
I pray that this is the feeling that our members experience each time they return to Sligo Church. But when you think about it, what creates that feeling within the hearts of our members is more than just the worship that we experience each week, although that may be part of it. What I believe is the main contributor to this feeling is the community that is formed here. There is something about the community that is Sligo that you just can’t seem to get anywhere else in the world. If you remember, the main reason why we created this celebration is because of the many “Sligonians” around the world that for whatever reason just can’t seem to let go of their membership, even though many of them have been gone for over twenty years. No matter where they are or how long they’ve been there, they still long for their days here at Sligo.
As we prepare to celebrate our fourth Annual Homecoming here at Sligo, I pray that the longing for “home” will in some way create a longing for the home that Jesus has gone to prepare for each and every one of His children. But before we can be ready to take up residence with Him in our heavenly home, we must first be willing to allow him to take up residence in our hearts.