Coming Home

Home is another name for heaven, and real home-coming is entering into heavenly harmony. The soldiers and sailors who are coming home should find themselves welcomed into an atmosphere that speaks of heaven; the same joy which acclaimed them as they marched off to uphold liberty surrounds them as they come marching home with their work well done, but with the added fervor which an irresistible wave of loving gratitude pours into their jubilant ranks. The banner of "Welcome Home" waves over them as line on line they return, having been made masters over many things, to take their places once more in the home circle and the home church and to take up their home relations. The discipline of camp and battle, ordeals of endurance, hardships, and cruel sights have prepared them to turn to a new heaven and a new earth. They are homesick for heaven, the beautiful, hospitable, spiritual home of illustrious magnificence and splendor prepared for them who love God.

There is, however, such a thing as being "at home in the body," which is equivalent to being "absent from the Lord." Evidently the Christianly metaphysical home-coming which our brave fighters deserve means more than a mere transportation of the physique across the ocean. They are to enter New Jerusalem in thought and be "present with the Lord." This is a spiritual experience whereby they are blessed themselves even as they have blessed others by their undaunted loyalty to liberty. Though the struggle between Spirit and the flesh continues unto the end, for the time being their glorious task is done. Therefore welcome and the best seat by the fireside for every one who has named the name of liberty and in that sign has conquered!

Now comes the next phase of warfare. Will the returning hosts who sallied forth to fight for liberty abroad find this same liberty at home? Will they find free schools, free religion, the freedom to choose Christ's way of healing the sick? Mrs. Eddy writes in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 28): "There is too much animal courage in society and not sufficient moral courage. Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course. If they keep the faith, they will have the crown of rejoicing." This is indeeed the Christian warfare which is developing with great rapidity as the merely military struggle subsides. The word "home" belongs essentially to the English speaking race; in foreign languages the idea which it presents has to be paraphrased, or else the English word is used outright. No people on earth appreciate more thoroughly than the English speaking people the need for home rule, both in the individual consciousness and in the individual community, but they also know full well that no nation can claim to exercise home rule which remains in willing submission to a foreign potentate. Self-government, like charity, begins at home. The foundations of the true home are laid in the individual consciousness; into this mansion the redeeming Christ is welcomed, and there he takes up his abode.

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"A Happy New Year!"
January 4, 1919

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