"ANYWHERE IS HOME"
"For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content" (Phil. 4:11)
INTRO.: A song which encourages us to learn to be content in whatever state or condition we happen to be is "Anywhere Is Home (#680 in Hymns for Worship Revised, #202 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by James (sometimes erroneously listed as John) Melvin Henson (1887-1972). The tune was composed by Homer F. Morris (1875-1955). The song was copyrighted in 1927 by Morris and Henson. The copyright was assigned to R. E. Winsett in 1943, and from him passed to
Ellis J. Crum of Kendallville, IN. Henson, a native of Gordon County, GA, who established a successful music business, also produced the well known song "Watching You." Other songs by him that have appeared in some of our books include "I’ll Live in Glory" and "Happy Am I." Another famous tune by Morris was provided for James Rowe’s "Won’t It Be Wonderful There?"
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, "Anywhere Is Home" appeared in the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church and the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed. both edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat, and the 2009 Favorite Songs of the Church edited by Robert J. Taylor Jr.
The song reminds us that spiritually speaking "home" is not a place but a relationship with Christ.
I. Stanza 1 points out that we can be at home without earthly wealth or fame
"Earthly wealth and fame May never come to me,
And a palace fair Here mine may never be;
But let come what may, If Christ for me doth care,
Anywhere is home, If He is only there."
A. Some in this world have wealth while others do not: Jas. 1:9-10
B. But it makes no difference whether we live in a palace fair or not because even Jesus did not have a place to lay His head: Lk. 9:58
C. However, we can be at home anywhere if we understand that Christ cares for us: 1 Pet. 5:7
II. Stanza 2 points out that we can be at home even when tossed and driven by the foe
"Oft I’m tossed about And driven by the foe,
Sad within, without, Wherever I may go;
But I press along, Still looking up in prayer,
For it’s home, sweet home, If Christ is only there."’
A. Being tossed about and driven by the foe refers to the various trials that we face in life: Jas. 1:2
B. These trials make us sad or grieved for a little while: 1 Pet. 1:6
C. However, we can be at home anywhere by looking to God through Christ in prayer: Phil. 4:6-7
III. Stanza 3 points out that we can be at home while laboring on
"I will labor on Till I am called away,
Till the morn shall dawn Of that eternal day,
Looking unto Him Who keeps me in His care;
Anywhere is home, If Christ my Lord, is there."
A. As long as we are alive and able, we must labor on: 1 Cor. 15:58
B. While doing this, we are waiting for the morn to dawn of that eternal day when we receive our inheritance in heaven: 1 Pet. 1:3-5
C. However, even here, we can be at home anywhere by looking unto Jesus: Heb. 12:1-2
CONCL.: The chorus emphasizes the importance of bearing our cross for Christ.
"Anywhere is home, Let come and go what may;
Anywhere I roam He keeps me all the way.
So for His dear sake My cross I’ll meekly bear;
Anywhere is home, If Christ, my Lord, is there."
One of the sweetest words in any language is "home." God has prepared an eternal home for His people in heaven. However, again, "home" is not primarily a place but a relationship, so that even here in this life, if we are true followers of Jesus Christ we can find that "Anywhere Is Home."