What does homecoming mean to you?

What does homecoming mean to you?


A time of welcome, reconnection and rest


Robert Frost wrote:

Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.


October is not only when leaves change color, it is also the month of homecoming for high school students.  Invitations are even sent to college alumni so that thousands of former students can descend upon their alma maters and connect with other alums.

Pep rallies, dances, marching bands, wood smoke from bonfires and aromas from tailgate parties all leading to the big game. Homecoming has associations of pilgrimage, journeying with others to a place made sacred by yearly rituals and treasured memories.

Homecoming also has everyday meanings, too. We pull our vehicles into the garage or driveway, turn off the ignition, and walk inside. Keys, wallet or purse each go in their customary places. Pets may greet us at the doorway. Briefcase, mail, and shopping items find their usual locations. Family members may welcome us with a hello, hug, or kiss. Loved ones gather to prepare food, share their day, and prepare for a welcomed night’s sleep. Homecoming has associations of regular routines of welcome, reconnection, and rest.

At other times homecoming has momentous meanings. Parents welcoming back a child that dropped out of college. A newly married couple scraping enough money together to get their first house. First-time parents bringing their baby home after months in the NICU. Grandparents suddenly having to raise their grandchildren. A couple estranged by one’s addiction, wondering whether to be under one roof again. An elderly couple celebrating their first holiday in a retirement community then surprised by family that traveled far to be there. Homecoming’s associations vary greatly depending on circumstance.

  • What fall pilgrimage outings bring autumn’s colors, smells, and flavors into your home?
  • How can your daily routines more intentionally model welcome, reconnection, and rest?
  • How can you share hospitality regardless of circumstance?


Rev. Dr. Sybrant serves at Murray Hills Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more info, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road, Beaverton. www.murrayhills.org | 503-524-5230