On Friday night, families wandered into the cafe to find a meal after recently arriving from a long trip. On Saturday, attendance at the sports games sky-rocketed as long-lost Nyack fans crowed the bleachers and outer rims of the soccer field. Families gathered around club tables and waited in barbecue lines, mingling, catching up, and taking in the scenes of a campus that held so many memories. On Sunday, few mini-vans and alumni were to be found as they returned to their towns and post-college lives. Current students settle back into their dorms to catch up on the homework that the homecoming festivities had delayed.
Homecoming. It’s interesting to think that one day, I might find myself coming back to Nyack on homecoming weekend; coming back to a place that changed my life– coming home. But what does it really mean to come home?
Merriam Webster defines home as, “One’s place of residence; the social unit formed by a family living together; or a familiar setting which is the focus of one’s domestic attention”. In 2 Corinthians 5:1, Paul describes home this way: “For we know that if the tent that is our earthy home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”. Paul is telling the church that their home is in heaven, and what strikes me the hardest about Webster’s definition, is that that a home is “formed by a family living together”.
I would definitely say that Nyack College has become home for me, and the biggest reason for that is the fact that the people here have become like family to me. I can’t speak from experience, but I feel like homecoming could have the potential to be disappointing to alumni who return to campus. I feel like what really makes a college experience memorable is the people going through it with you. Alumni could return to Nyack and see their old dorm room, the classrooms they spent hours in, or the spot where their group of friends would always meet up; but if those things aren’t accompanied by their old roommates, favorite professors, or dear friends, it wouldn’t feel much like the home they remembered.
Matthew hits the nail on the head when he says in chapter 6 verse 19 of his book, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. Jesus has a home for us– heaven. Our responsibility right now is to keep our focus there. Keep our focus on serving Jesus, and trying to bring as many people with us as possible.