Where is home for you?
Pause on that for a moment. NOT “Where do you live?” NOT “Where are you from?” But, where is home for you?
What feelings does that image of home stir in you?
For most of us “home” is really an illusive concept. Our homes could be filled with chaos; our homes could be filled with pain and abuse; our homes could be empty; our homes could be miles away; our homes could be boxed up; our homes could be mortgaged…we may be packing some bags and going to visit our family’s place of residence this holiday season. But, if we stopped to look around, we will discover that even the best of these experiences will not fulfill our longing for home.
Even in this holiday song, the reality of our homes never match up with this deep inner longing.
We all feel this desire and disappointment for a “home.” “Home” is more than a physical location, it is actually a deep longing we all have. We long for a place to be known, to be secure, to be comfortable and at peace.
I’ve always been perturbed by the fact that Jesus seems to also experience that illusive and transitory aspect of home. He was born in a manger in a tiny town eight miles from the city of David. His parents were traveling through Bethlehem when he was born. Then his father had to lead them into the foreign land of Egypt. Jesus is described as being from Nazareth, but as he states–“the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Jesus was a man without a home.
Since Jesus never had a place to call home, he is able to lead us towards that deep longing we all have: our eternal home with God.
Jesus promises that: “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that 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.”
Can you pause from all the busyness and tap into that longing this Christmas season? Do you long to be HOME with God your Father?
Heavenly Father, I give you thanks for the gift of home, though my heart is restless until it finds its rest in you. Please bring that Peace I long for, that Hope I yearn for, the Joy I desire, and the Love I need into my life. Forgive me for my complaints that my home is not what I desire. May my home that is cluttered or immaculate, loud or silent, chaotic or disciplined, rented or owned become a dwelling place for you in my life. May those who find themselves in dorm rooms, or hospital rooms, prison cells or in the underpasses, feel the presence of you this night. And may your Son lead me to my eternal home. Come, Lord Jesus, come and take me home. Amen.