The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


'Come good home'

Hear the words in the language of love and be blessed

“Come good home” our friend Ken would say whenever we completed a visit. Not “Goodbye! See your later” or any other casual parting. No, Ken reverted to the words of his German grandmother, her blessing on departure. “Come good home” doesn’t make grammatical sense in English. But in the language of love, comprehension supersedes correctness.

Door knocker“Come good home,” spoken in the language of love, sends us away in peace, covers us while gone and invites us to return in good condition. Hearing those words, a sojourner grasps both their meaning and significance.

“Come good home” could also be considered words of blessing from the Lord who wants us to depart in peace, travel in safety and return in good stead. That’s what Ken’s grandmother prayed for, too, in the leave-taking of a loved one when she spoke her benediction.

“Come good home” certainly is what I hear when I read God’s word. We come as children to the baptismal font. We come as children to the Lord’s table. We leave this Earth as children of the Heavenly Father, and we are received with a heavenly uniting.

For Ken, his grandmother before him and perhaps for us today, God’s word to us as sojourners could be heard in the language of love, “Come good home.”


Barbara Brunk

Barbara Brunk

Posted at 10:50 am (U.S. Eastern) 10/29/2008

In Danish we always heard

"Safe com hjem"

Mary Arthur

Mary Arthur

Posted at 5:44 pm (U.S. Eastern) 4/28/2009

My grandmother also used this expression with anyone who was leaving, especially if they had a distance to travel. I continue to say it from time to time, and although not grammatical, it holds a world of wisdom!

Strangely, my pastor and I are from similar backgrounds and had talked about this and other familiar German expressions just before the article appeared in The Lutheran.

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