Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer. Last night, on our ride home from a cookout with friends, we saw Illinois license plates heading west, and Ohio plates heading east. Everyone was going home.
Sometimes we feel a letdown at the end of summer. Vacations refreshed us, mission trips expanded our vision, church conferences spurred us to greater growth. A holiday weekend provided an opportunity to be with family and friends. And now it ends. And we go home.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, also traveled for a season. When she learned she would bear the Savior, she went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who simultaneously carried John the Baptist. They rejoiced together and experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit as they met (Luke 1:39-56). They were part of the unique revelation of God in the incarnation of Jesus. But, after three months together, Luke tells us that Mary "returned to her home."
Mary had seen Gabriel, she was blessed by Elizabeth, she would bear Jesus in Bethlehem, she would to Egypt for a time, and would appear at a few other key junctures in Scripture. But, the Lord added the words "and returned to her home" to remind us, in part, that Mary was called to trust God and rejoice in his promises on a daily basis in the regular flow of life at home. The Lord works some of the most extraordinary growth in his children through ordinary daily living in our homes, workplaces, and neighborhoods.
If you were on the road this summer or weekend and are now home, like millions of other Americans, then I'm glad you the Lord has brought you home, just like Mary of old. Enjoy the routine.