A Home For All ... Including You

Devotions for the Season - 2021

Twenty devotionals written for you by gifted writers within the First Congregational Church of Hudson Congregation

Dear Friends, 

‘Tis the season…‘Tis the season of the Christmas story that tells us Jesus was born into a world that had no room for him…into a world that crowded out God. ‘Tis the season we’re told that even though we (the world) made no space for God, God always has and always will make room for us.   

 

The days leading up to Christmas are some of the most desperate times for people without a home. The days get shorter, which of course means the nights get longer. That, of course, coincides with plummeting temperatures making those without shelter so much more vulnerable.    

 

But…it’s not just those without shelter who struggle in this season. It is also those who are figuratively homeless. While these days are supposed to be filled with unabated joy, for many, this can be the most difficult, lonely time of all.

 

That’s the wonder of the Christmas story. Christmas tells us we are never truly alone and we always have a home with God, a home whose foundations are forever firm and a home where God welcomes each and every one of us just as we are, period.    

 

We will be sharing twenty devotionals written by gifted writers within our congregation. You can find them posted each day below or on Facebook. Each one focuses on finding home, especially in times when home seemed to be lacking. I hope you will be as inspired by their sharing as I am. I encourage you to consider reading one of the devotionals each day, or finding the best way to use them that brings a sense of home into your life. Most of all, I pray that you may know God’s offer of home for you in this season. May you and I help to offer home for all the world in these days.


The Rev. Dr. Peter Wiley, Senior Pastor

Devotions

We'll add each daily devotional here, but you can also request a devotional booklet by emailing the Church Office

  • What do you think of when you think of the word, “home”? I think of my parent’s house. But I also think about the house I grew up in, the place around the campfire at Templed Hills camp, my family, and Chicken Divan. Most recently, I am now starting to think of my own house in Columbus as my home as well ... Continued

  • Every time I sit and look around, I feel blessed with everything I have since not everyone gets what they want. My early childhood was spent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When I was five, my family moved to Uganda in search of safety. We did not find it in Uganda. There was much corruption and we often went without electricity and food because it was so expensive... Continued

  • I was seven and a half years old when I was born…at least the second time. December 2, 1979, the date I immigrated into this country, is as important to me as May 20, 1972, the day I was born in Havana, Cuba while my dad, a political prisoner, was in the middle of serving a 20-year sentence. I could only imagine how my life may have turned out had I not had the privilege of being born twice... Continued

  • “I’m calling with exciting news. I’m getting married.”


    As my mother chatted about her engagement to a family friend I barely knew, I could only think one thing:


    But Dad just died.


    Continued


  • Ooh, he could irritate me! He’d walk into the Chapel. I’d recoil from his smells…the Black body that hadn’t been washed in weeks, the lingering alcohol from last night’s binge. Before saying hello, he’d ask for a handout. Uh-uh…no room in this inn for you. Continued

  • “We didn’t see you in church today.”

     

    “No, Dad, we were out of town this week.”

     

    My parents love our church, and they love it more knowing we are there amongst our church family and have felt at home at First Congregational Church of Hudson for 15 years. Eric and I love our church as well. We love its welcoming message of “meeting you where you are.” Continued

  • Four years ago, I became a blogger. I’d been researching a case about a college student who’d gone missing in 1953 and I wanted to stake out my territory online. I wanted to attract an audience, but truth be told, I didn’t want to hear from anyone. I’d watched enough Dateline episodes to know that I should be wary of cyber strangers... Continued

  •  Finding home is a process I feel we all are always undergoing. One moment it is our physical home, the next it is the richness of our inner life and dreams, the next it is a loving embrace from a family member or friend. I have felt most at home in the quiet and solitude of long meditation retreats as the snow gently fell to the ground when I was living in a Buddhist retreat center in Massachusetts, in the middle of playing a joyful piece of music by Duke Ellington and feeling my entire being ignite with joy, and in holding my son as he fell asleep in my arms as a baby. Continued

  • I came to First Congregational Church in search of a couple of baptisms, but I received something totally unexpected, instead. Continued

  • “We need to sign up for First Serve.” My husband’s reminder thudded in my ears. I loved the idea of a day of service, but I wasn’t sure what skills I had to offer. Not counting my weekly home manicure, I’d never primed, painted, or polished. Continued

  • Thinking about “home,” especially during this time of year, conjures up an image of curling up on the couch with a comfy blanket, a big mug of something hot to drink and my dog curled up next to me, with nothing to do and all day to do it. Continued

  • I have been fortunate to call many places home. My family moved a few times when I was growing up. I learned at a young age that home is not just one singular place. We can make a place feel like home when we share it with people we love. Even if you live on your own, home can also be found through shared rituals, like the breaking of the bread. Continued

  • I was adopted at birth, so I never knew my biological parents.

     

    “Aren’t you curious?” my eldest daughter would often ask.

     

    Over the years I developed what I thought was an impenetrable rationale: My birth parents had a reason for giving up a newborn and probably didn’t want to resurrect that repressed memory. Continued

  • Three little words. They have the power to make my heart skip a beat, turn my gray skies blue, and initiate any other lovelorn cliche you can fling my way. “Mom, I’m home.” Continued

  • When our family decided to leave the familiarity of our church in Canton just over a year ago to attend, serve on the staff (in Jon’s case), and ultimately join First Congregational Church, it required a leap of faith for all four of us. Despite the many clear signs that God had clearly guided us to work and worship in Hudson, it still took a strong dose of humility, determination and perseverance to leave the familiar and venture into something new. Needless to say, the realities of the pandemic (virtual meetings, online worship and social distancing, to name a few) didn’t leave us with much hope of feeling “at home” in the very near future. Continued

  • These verses are profound. Jesus comforted his disciples amid rising anger, loud voices, and his impending death. This person, who had led, guided, and loved the disciples would also soon leave them. They were scared. Knowing this, Jesus invoked a particular analogy to help them understand that he was not truly leaving. Quite the opposite. He would sacrifice his life to show them the way—the doorway—to enter where they would find a special place:  A loving, eternal home. Continued