In the United States, Christmastime and thoughts of home just go together. “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” and “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays,” are two of the most popular holiday songs, year after year. Christmas movies and television shows regularly feature stories of people going to their family home or extended family home over the holidays. Among the rituals we create for this darkest time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, perhaps the majority of them are associated with either going home or doing special things at home-- whether lighting candles and having a time of family prayer during Advent, or decorating a Christmas tree, or caroling through a neighborhood, or hosting festive “open house” parties for friends, neighbors, and colleagues. It’s all about home.
Advent and Christmas season are about another kind of homecoming, the homecoming of Christ to redeem and renew us, this earth, and all creation till “heaven and nature sing” with joy eternally. This Advent we focus first on the final fulfillment, and later on the beginning of that fulfillment in Jesus.
These scriptures seek God’s joyous desire, they also make plain just how far from it we have been and challenge us with just how far we have to go, ourselves, to begin to live into it.
Through this season, let’s “unwrap” something that leads us toward making our hearts, our lives, our families, our communities, and our world more like the home Christ’s ultimate homecoming will make it to be. This Advent, let’s welcome Christ to His earthly home, because there is no place like home for the Holidays.
From Pamm, Justus, Silas, and our new one to be welcomed next year, we want to say Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year to you and yours. To celebrate the birth of Christ we invite you to join our family on January 7th for an Epiphany Open House from 3-5 PM at the Parsonage. We will have Christmas cookies and beverages to enjoy as we end the Holiday season and enter into the new year.
As we enter 2018, I invite you to join me as we center ourselves on prayer in our first sermon series. We will be going through the book, The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. In this series we learn to dream big, pray hard, and think long. It will be a great way to begin the calendar year together and discern where God is leading our church.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,