Homer, the Odyssey, and the Gospel, Part 2 – Our longing for Home

UnknownIn my last post, I explored how Homer’s Odyssey prompts us to live for a cause greater than ourselves. In this post, I’ll explore how the story points us to our true home.

After the ten-year war at Troy, Odysseus set out for home. For ten more years, he tried in vain to get home, prevented at every turn by his own folly, tantalizing temptations, and terrifying monsters. In our first glimpse of Odysseus, as told by Homer, we find him a prisoner of a beautiful goddess on a distant island “sitting disconsolate on the shores. . . looking out across the barren sea with streaming eyes.” He longed for home, yet could not, on his own find his way.

Here too, we are Odysseus. We are away and long for our true country. This world is not our home. Currently, this world is not the way our home was meant to be. Something has gone drastically wrong.

How can we find our way home? Again we find the answer in Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus couldn’t find his way home without help from the gods. Neither can we. While we were away—runaways, in fact—God sent his Son to bring us home. When he finds us, we are lovingly brought home. Our sins are forgiven, the cracks begin to mend, and we begin to experience the world the way it was meant to be.

In my next post, we’ll explore more about the tragedy of this world and the hope that Jesus brings.


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