To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig.
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog.
Home again, home again, jiggety jog.
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun.
Home again, home again, market is done.
I found myself repeating this little ditty as I turned into our driveway after having been away on vacation. News flash! For better or for worse, the Jacksons are now “home again”.
To be sure, it was good to go home again. As many of you know, I am from another state than the one where we now live. What is more, most of my family now lives in yet another, or third, state. My wife and I thus spent time over the last several days, first going home to where I was raised, and then home to where my family now resides.
Going home can be a valuable endeavor. To begin with, it is good simply to get away. Doing so helps one to replenish in a multitude of ways. But going home has an additional benefit. It is always helpful to revisit old haunts because a few days amidst one’s old stomping grounds often renews an appreciation for his or her heritage. It is profitable to be reminded who one is and what all went into making him or her so.
But while the past is a good place for us to make an occasional visit, we should never choose to live there. For this reason, I have discovered that it is also good to come home again. After having lived in East Tennessee for over fifteen years now, my wife and I find that this place has truly become our home.
What is more, after having lived among the good people of East Tennessee for over a decade and a half, we find that they are as much our family as are our relatives who reside out of state.
This is true in a literal sense, as all three or our children found and married their spouses here. But it is also true in a spiritual sense, in that our church family has become our extended family. We have brothers and sisters in Christ aplenty here. And we also have surrogate grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and the like.
All of this reminds me that the day will come when all of my family - both literal and spiritual, whether close by or distant - will all make it home one day to yet another place. For the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is our Elder Brother (Hebrews 2:10-13); and that He has gone ahead of us and helped to prepare a place for us in our Heavenly Father’s house (John 14:1-6). All those who know Jesus are welcome into His family and His home.
These days, I find myself thinking more and more about that great homecoming day. As the hymn writer of old put it, "What a day, glorious day, that will be!"
Acclaimed singer B. J. Thomas once won a Grammy Award for his hit song titled "Home Where I Belong". I thought it fitting to conclude my thoughts this day with the lyrics:
They say that heavens pretty
And living here is too;
But if they said that I would
Have to choose between the two,
I'd go home, going home,
Where I belong.
And sometimes when I'm dreaming,
It comes as no surprise;
That if you look and see
The homesick feeling in my eyes,
I'm going home, going home,
Where I belong.
While I'm here I'll serve him gladly,
And sing him all my songs.
I'm here, but not for long.
And when I'm feeling lonely,
And when I'm feeling blue,
It's such a joy to know that
I am only passing through.
I'm headed home, going home,
Where I belong.
And one day I'll be sleeping
When death knocks on my door;
And I'll awake and find
That I'm not homesick anymore.
I'll be home, going home,
Where I belong!
I say again, what a day, glorious day, that will be!
RHYME SOURCE: To the best of my memory, the book was titled The Great Big Book of Mother Goose, or something to that effect. The actual lyrics can be found online here: http://www.mothergooseclub.com/videos/to-market-to-market-nursery-rhyme-mgcp/.
SCRIPTURE CITATIONS SOURCE: http://biblehub.com/niv/john/14.htm and http://biblehub.com/niv/hebrews/2.htm.
SOURCE FOR LYRICS TO THOMAS' "HOME WHERE I BELONG" LYRICS: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/bjthomas/homewhereibelong.html.