Jesus told the story about a man whose unclean spirit departed. He describes the unclean spirit as passing “through waterless places seeking rest” but finding none. So, he returns to the man from whom he had departed, bringing along with him seven other spirits to take up residence with him (Mt. 12:43). Even unclean spirits, it seems, need a place to call home.

When asked how he felt when he was baptized into Christ, a recent convert said that he felt that he had found a sense of belonging for his homeless soul. We need a home—a sense of belonging. God created us with an innate longing to find our home in fellowship with Him.

But, we cannot be at home with the Father apart from Christ. Our sins separate us from God and we are under the sentence of death (Is. 59:1-2; Rm. 6:23). But, Jesus provides the only means of appeasing the wrath of God through His atoning sacrifice on the cross (1 Jn. 2:2). In this way, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them…” (2 Cor. 5:19). Thus, Christ is the “new and living way” to find our home with the Father (Hb. 10:22 cf. Jn. 14:6).

In the meantime, the church is our place of belonging—that place where those saved and purchased by the blood of Jesus are brought together as His body (1 Cor. 12:13). We are part of His family—spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ who share a common longing for home.

This world is not our home. We are but “aliens and strangers” (1 Pet. 2:12). Like those who have gone before us, we “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one”—a city prepared by God Himself—a place of eternal belonging (Hb. 11:16-17). In fact, we would rather be “absent from the body” and “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).

Though our time on earth is limited; even now, we have our part in a heavenly citizenship (Ph. 3:20). In the midst of darkness, we stand as light among those who eagerly wait for the Savior, “who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory…” (vs. 21). For it is in the church—His body of believers—that we find our spiritual family and that place of belonging for the homeless soul.

–Glen Elliott–