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Peace & Pieces - January 12, 2024


Now that winter with all its gusto has finally appeared, I greatly appreciate how the exuberance of our Christmas worship continues as a warm glow in my heart. So many people contributed time, talent, and treasure to make our holy space extra beautiful and I’m so grateful to all of you! When Christmas Eve guests walked through our doors, they received a heartfelt welcome and an experience of belonging that can only be found on our knees before the Christ child.


I spent the remaining twelve days of Christmas at our home in Towson, Maryland. Outside of a trip to the emergency vet (my daughter’s dog ate a bar of dark chocolate) and being asked to officiate at a relatives’ funeral, it was wonderfully refreshing time. People kept asking me if it felt good to be home, and I quickly realized that sometime in the past ten months Great Falls, and specifically Church of the Incarnation, is the place that feels like home.


Frederick Buechner, a pastor, theologian and author, writes in The Longing for Home (my most cherished of his writings):

“Home summons up a place… which you have rich and complex feelings about, a place where you feel, or did feel once, uniquely at home, which is to say a place where you feel you belong and which in some sense belongs to you…”


The longing for home is the most instinctive of human longings. In my early years, I feared I would never overcome the sorrow and “lostness” of never knowing my first mother, my first home. By the grace of God, John and I found each other and built a life and home of our own. Giving birth created connection I never before knew. As time has unfolded, many other places, relationships, and my ministry have led to the joy of feeling I belong. Now, I belong to the body of Christ that is Church of the Incarnation in Great Falls, MT. In some sense, you will always belong to me, too.


Ultimately, every experience of home on earth foreshadows the day when we enter our heavenly and eternal home. Every experience of belonging reflects the One to whom we ever belong, Jesus Christ. On Sunday, John’s gospel will identify Jesus as Rabbi, Son of God, King of Israel, and Jesus will identify himself as Son of Man.

For me, Jesus is also the feeling of home.


Pastor Lori+


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