Ben Motlhalamme, the diocesan secretary, greets me with these words as we pass the peace in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Gaborone.
They are kind, even generous words for him to say. Botswana, of course, is not my ‘home,’ but a message that I am home given by someone whose true home it is is a message to be gratefully received.
It is perhaps easy to overlook, from the outside, just how international a city Gaborone is, despite its relatively small population for a nation’s capital. The Church reflects it. Naturally most are Batswana in the cathedral congregation, but there are people from Asia, Europe and North America, and from elsewhere in Africa and from many other countries in the region: South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe especially.
Are we all ‘at home’ here? Maybe. Maybe not. But Ben Motlhalamme’s greeting reflects a vision, that we all may find a home within the community of faith, within the one Body of Christ, wherever we may be.
Meanwhile, back at my home in North Carolina, my Bishop, Michael Curry, has been speaking of our Diocese’s going to Galilee, to a diverse, sometimes chaotic world, which is where Jesus told the disciples to go after the resurrection. That complex world, he says, should be seen as we look about us in our congregations.
I also think that when Jesus told his disciples to ‘go to Galilee,’ he was saying to the disciples, ‘let’s go home.’ Home to family, security, and perhaps, safety, after a tumultuous week in Jerusalem. Somehow the dynamic between our churches’ entering and engaging with the diverse community that is our Galilee, on the one hand, and providing ourselves with a continuing sense of being home, on the other, will lead to our realizing the call to have a church where all will find a home.
‘Welcome home.’ Wherever we may be. Whoever we are.