I find myself within warm and welcoming walls of my parents house this Christmas season, looking forward to the family of my blood gathering around the table to remember, laugh and celebrate. I guess I’ll be home for Christmas in more than my dreams this year. Home is what we all long for isn’t it? Someone or somewhere to be home, to welcome us home, to embrace us as home, as much as we embrace them as home.
You are home. These are the words that we all long to hear. YOU ARE HOME. We long to call out, I AM HOME. We may find our home in a place and among a people who are not actually our blood. They may be chosen family, they may be kind strangers and people of peace who remind us of home. It seems that so many are simply seeking a place to call “home” for today, for a night so they can rest before they continue the journey.
Having lived in all sorts of places and among all sorts of people, I have learned that “home” truly is less about a place and more about a people. My family is all over the world, certainly in Kolkata, India, in small little North Webster, Indiana and you will also find them in London, Kathmandu and Bangkok, and in the USA in Pasadena, Portland, Omaha, Kokomo, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Jacksonville, Florida. In these places there are people who welcome me in, people who inspire “peace”, people who make space for me when it seems there is no other place to go, people who tenderly embraces my scary parts and celebrate my awesome parts. What a privilege to be home among so many people, who teach me and point me to the truth that “home” that can also be found beyond people or place.
The thing that always moves me deeply about the nature of God is that God sought to make a home among us. Emmanuel, God with us. God came and dwelt among us so we would know what to look for when we are seeking a “home”. Home is where you find welcome, LOVE, patience, kindness, forgiveness; home is where you find HOPE. Who better to show us than a homeless and refugee family, who better to teach us about home and how it moves with us….home is where your people are, “home” is where you find Emmanuel.
My prayer is that we would all find ourselves at “home” this Christmas. Though I know many in the world will find themselves knocking on doors that will not open and asking for rest where they will not find it. I pray that we will be a people who open doors and welcome the stranger. I hold on to the HOPE of Emmanuel and a God who made home amongst us and dwells amongst us still. As we approach Christmas let us pray for peace, remembering the proclamation of the angels calling for “peace on earth”, a blessing for this larger home we co-habit-ate.