It's been said that you can't go back home again. Of course, this cliche is not meant to be taken completely literally, because we almost certainly *can* go back in the physical sense of the word. Even if the building that we once lived in is no longer standing, the neighborhood probably is, and the town surely is too.
The "can't go back" is understood to be an emotional issue, maybe even a pride issue. Young adults feel inadequate or that they've failed somehow if they "have to move back home" after graduation. Someone going through a divorce may have to temporarily move back home with their parents while trying to regain their footing, emotionally and financially. Or the aspiring actor/model/dream chaser may have found the world to be a relentless dream crusher, and return home to nurse their wounded dreams.
When we think about Scripture that speaks to going back home, our first thought is not generally of Joseph, the carpenter, the earthly father of Jesus of Nazareth.
After an angel appeared to him in a dream, Joseph married Mary, who was already with child. Perhaps the town gossips confined their wagging tongues to the assumption that the child was indeed Joseph's child. Even so, Joseph's reputation and his good name were ruined. He endured emotional distress, slanders, whispers, snickering, and gossip.
Then, to make things even worse, Joseph was warned in a dream that the Child was in danger. He needed to take his wife and Baby and leave for Egypt. Right now. Middle of the night. No time to text mom and dad or his softball team to say, gotta go! I'll explain later! No time to explain to his clients why the work they paid him to do would not be finished and delivered. He just vanished without a trace.
So it was probably a scary thought when the angel appeared again and told Joseph to go back home. Really? Having left under less than ideal circumstances under the cover of darkness, wouldn't it be easier just to stay in Egypt? What will everyone say? Will they believe me when I tell them why I left? Will they be glad to see me? Or be even madder? Have they disowned me totally? Can I ever work again in that town?
Nope, it's not easy going home again.
The past couple years have been really hard for my family, and I really can't go home again in the very real sense -- my childhood home burned to the ground last month. The lady who bought the place from my mother died under suspicious circumstances, and not from the fire.
Nevertheless, circumstances are improving for us. God has been so good to us. And I'm so glad to be back "home" at CB. I've missed you all, and several blogs are brewing and perking in my brain that I'll try to put into words over the next several days