The Joey Chronicles – 1 Peter / "He is Our Home"
When Pastor John was growing up he had an
imaginary friend named Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey's point of view!
Moving isn’t fun.
When you leave your friends and your school and your playground and your church and all the things that make life fun - it’s a little scary.
Joey helped his Mom with the last box from the kitchen and handed it to his Dad. He lifted in carefully into the big truck full of all the things that had filled their house two days before.
Scotty Reimer and Frankie Wertz pulled up on their bikes and watched.
“Hey Joey, what if we hit a home run in your backyard again? Bet we won’t be able to get it when the new people move into your house!”
Joey’s backyard was right against the schoolyard that he knew so well and home plate was under cherry tree they used to climb looking up to his house. The older Joey got, the further the ball went when they hit it and the easier it got to climb the cherry tree and pick the red, juicy cherries that hung over their heads.
Joey was going to miss that cherry tree.
“Joey, it’s time to go. Climb in the car with your mom and sister and I’ll follow you in the truck. Goodbye boys!” Joey’s Dad lifted himself high into the cab of the moving truck and started the loud motor that broke the silence of a Saturday morning in the neighborhood.
The drive from Portland Oregon to Fresno California was – long. Joey napped and read and snacked and played the alphabet game with his sister for what seemed like a week until they finally arrived in their new hometown on a grey December day.
Everything was strange. The palm trees alongside the road, the houses that looked different, the stores were different, and everything was flat with not as many green trees. When they finally pulled into the driveway of their new house Joey was less than impressed.
Why? Joey wasn’t quite sure. The house looked nice. Mom explained that the trees in the front and back yard were almond trees and that they would have plenty of almonds to eat every year. Joey saw his new room and it was big with a window that looked out on the front lawn. But the house was still empty and felt cold.
“Joey, I’m turning the heat up to 70. I want you take the dog for a walk and watch for Dad in the moving truck. We haven’t heard from him since we got separated on the freeway an hour ago.”
Joey took Happy for a walk down the quiet street. He watched two boys about his age come out with a football. They looked at him suspiciously and Joey hurried on with Happy’s collar tinkling with every step they took.
When Joey got back to the house, Dad still wasn’t there.
Mom said, “I just heard from Dad and he had a flat tire and lost us in the fog. He’ll be here as soon as he can. Right now you and Kathy can finish bringing things in from the trunk of the car.”
Joey had heard that California was always sunny. Now he knew this wasn’t true. This seemed like the gloomiest day of his life and the rain that started to fall didn’t help one bit.
Suddenly he heard the deep-throated sound of a truck shifting gears and watched as the big moving truck slowly backed into their driveway.
“Joey – we made it!” His Dad climbed out of the truck as Joey ran out the front door and jumped into arms.
“Did you see your new school when you drove in? It’s only a few blocks away. I talked to your counselor on the phone – she is looking forward to meeting you.”
“Hello boys!” Now his Dad was yelling down the street to the boys with the football. “Let’s see how far you can throw that football!”
The boys looked at each other and then heaved the football. Joey’s Dad took two steps to the right and caught the ball with one hand. He handed it to Joey and said, “Now you go play catch and we’ll unload the truck after we go to McDonalds to get something to eat.”
Now Joey knew what he had been missing – his Dad. In only took two minutes talking to his Dad to make him feel at home. He wasn’t sure why, but maybe it was because his Dad was in charge and wanted Joey to be happy and make friends and to help him through the rough spots.
Joey realized that he would always be at home as long as he stayed close to Dad.
1st Peter was written to Jewish Christians who moved around a lot. And it wasn’t much fun to go from city to city with all kinds of problems for their families.
So Peter reminded them that they may not have a house, but they would always have a home with Jesus. Wherever they went and whatever problems they had, they would always belong to Jesus. And He would always have a forever home waiting for them.
1 Peter 5:10
After you have suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through Christ, will give you his eternal glory. He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.