August 5, 2010. It was a normal day at work inside the San-Jose mine in northern Chile. But disaster struck when the mine caved in trapping 33 men 2300 ft underground! Cut-off from the rest of the world, all they could think of was staying alive and reaching home!
Rescue workers began drilling bore holes into the mine to locate survivors and more than two weeks after the initial collapse, the first borehole reached the survivors. They send a note up the probe saying “The 33 of us in the shelter are well!” What followed was the most massive rescue operation in the history of mining. Finally after 69 days, all 33 miners were brought out safely using rescue capsules that were lowered into the mine. There were scenes of jubilation and tears of joy all around as the miners reunited with their families. It was happy homecoming!
Home. It’s a beautiful word. A place where we belong. A place of rest and warmth. A base we long to return to.
Man is tripartite being; He is a soul, having a mind, living in a body. Just as our bodies and our minds yearn for a homecoming, the soul longs to be one with its Creator. The story of the Bible starts with God creating man and placing him in a garden. He was at home with his Creator, in perfect peace and joy. But evil entered the world through Sin and today we see its effects all around us. Wars and riots, pain and suffering, deceit and corruption; it seems an endless cycle. Like the miners trapped deep below, we feel stuck, wondering if there is a way out.
God stepped down into this messy world in Jesus to set the stage for an eternal homecoming. He is the only way by which man can be saved and be reconciled with God. Jesus invites us to put our faith in Him and be led by Him.
The Bible ends with a garden-city where God will dwell with his people. It says that, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.*”
This is not wishful thinking. It is not an escape from reality. It is the truth that the Bible proclaims. The rest that we find is our earthly homes is temporary but God offers a rest, not just in this world but the greater world to come. Let’s get ready for that homecoming!