Sermons

Summary: A study in the book of Ezra 1: 1- 11

Ezra 1: 1- 11

You can go home again

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, 2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the LORD God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. 3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah and build the house of the LORD God of Israel (He is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem. 5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem. 6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered. 7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods; 8 and Cyrus king of Persia brought them out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. 9 This is the number of them: thirty gold platters, one thousand silver platters, twenty-nine knives, 10 thirty gold basins, four hundred and ten silver basins of a similar kind, and one thousand other articles. 11 All the articles of gold and silver were five thousand four hundred. All these Sheshbazzar took with the captives who were brought from Babylon to Jerusalem.

In her recent hit recording, "The House that Built Me," country-western performer Miranda Lambert has an awesome song called, "I know they say you can't go home again

The song is about a woman visiting a place from childhood, a place she once called home. As the lyrics suggest, returning to see a childhood home is often highly emotional.

Surveys tell me that roughly one third of American adults over the age of 30 have made such a trip. These individuals aren't necessarily interested in seeing the people from their past. Rather, they visit the houses, apartments, playgrounds, schools, neighborhoods, parks and other places that once made up the landscape of their childhood. This is what ‘Going home means to them.’

Among the unexpected findings to emerge was the depth of emotion many people feel for their childhood home.

Although we develop emotional attachments to places throughout our lifetimes, the vast majority of people who make a trip to see a former home select a place they lived in during their elementary school years (around 5 to 12 years old). This choice makes sense if, as I have argued, we recognize that one's home is a part of personal identity for many people; i.e., an extension of their self. And it is during these early years that children develop a sense of self independent of their families. Homes also are almost always the place where children spend the largest part of their time, as well as the location for many of their most emotional experiences.

The clear majority of people were glad they had made the trip, and many planned to visit or had already visited again. They talked about getting back in touch with important parts of their pasts, obtaining insights about how and why their lives unfolded the way they did, and gaining a valuable perspective with which to make important life decisions. If nothing else, the visits helped to fill gaps in their childhood memories, and nearly everyone took delight in finding a favorite tree, fishing hole, hiding place or some other physical feature from their childhood still intact.

Here are the lyrics of Miranda’s song. It is quite touching;

I know they say you can't go home again

I just had to come back one last time

Ma'am, I know you don't know me from Adam

But these hand prints on the front steps are mine

Up those stairs in that little back bedroom

Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar

And I bet you didn't know under that live oak

My favorite dog is buried in the yard

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