I wonder where you feel your roots are?

Perhaps your family has lived in the same area for generations, or maybe you have relocated because of work or family reasons, and have settled into a new community.

But to really feel at home can take time. I’m told around here that it takes many decades to lose that status of ‘offcomer’.

My family and I moved to Cumbria from the Midlands 10 years ago, and though we love the area and its people, I am still a Brummie at heart, and occasionally miss where I lived for so long (especially the curries!)

But sadly, of course, sometimes our home is not a good place to be. People may feel trapped in an abusive situation, longing for something better but unable to see a way out.

We care for two foster children who could not stay in their family home, but are building a new life with us, though of course their links remain to family and the place they grew up.

There are also those who have no place to call home, whose circumstances leave them without security and feeling abandoned.

But whatever our situation may be, wherever we find ourselves, and however long we have been there, our permanent home is still waiting for us. In John’s gospel, Jesus says ‘In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.

I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’

God tells us that there is a place reserved for us in his Kingdom. A place that will be our eternal home.

People have some odd ideas about heaven. All that ethereal stuff about stars and clouds and angels.

But in fact, it’s going to be more real than anything we have experienced on this earth. It’s like we are currently living in black and white – the world to come will be in full technicolour.

All the darkness and despair of our world will be stripped away, and life will be as it was always meant to be. The Book of Revelation promises ‘The old order of things will have passed away’.

God is calling all of us to come back to our real home. That journey can start at any time, and he can transform any situation; all we need to do is accept his invitation.

By Rev Andy Batchelor, vicar of St Mary’s, Walney, and St John’s, Barrow Island.