Come Home for Christmas
Remember how Bing Crosby used to sing it: “I’ll be home for Christmas. You can count on me!”…and "There’s no place like home for the holidays.” Everywhere you go this season, you’ll hear this soul-level longing to “come home” expressed in music and melody. You’ll hear it coming through the CD player or radio in your home or car, over the intercom speakers in department stores and building elevators. It’s simply impossible to miss.
Just as the shepherds were drawn to the stable, even so at Christmas today we’re drawn toward home. There is a certain nostalgia in returning home to be with family and old friends, to be in the warm and welcoming confines of a place where you are known, loved and accepted.
I’m sure this is the central reason why Christmas Eve Worship has become the most attended service on the Christian calendar, even outpacing Easter Sunday. After all the shopping is done and all the stores have finally closed, we gather for Christmas Eve worship. The world has quieted down. There is a hushed sense of awe as we sing “Silent Night, Holy Night.” It’s almost as if the service itself is a deep, peaceful sigh of relief…we are finally home.
The good news of Christmas is that God is not an angry, hostile, vindictive presence. God comes to us with healing grace and forgiving love. Through the cry of an infant in Bethlehem’s manger we can hear God calling us home.
G.K. Chesterton expresses this so beautifully in his poem, “The House of Christmas.”
To an open house in the evening,
Home shall all of us come,
To an older place than Eden,
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and are,
To the place where God was homeless,
And all of us are home.
This season as you explore the central message of Christmas I pray that each of you will find your way home to the loving heart of God. You will be welcomed with open arms.
With Advent Hope and Christmas Joy,Fred