Even here in South Africa you can hear Ben Crosby singing the holiday classic, “I’ll be home for Christmas You can plan on me. Please have snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree…” It doesn’t matter that we are coming into summer and snow is out of the question the song still invokes a nostalgic feeling for family and the childhood joys of Christmas past.
Patty and I have had people ask us if we were planning on going back home for Christmas to be with our family and did the new travel bans from the US prohibit us. “No, not this year we had no plans to go back,” we reply. However, we know of people who have traveled here who are stuck because of the new regulations who are not able to be home for Christmas.
To be honest as we see our kids decorate their trees and have the name drawing presents for the family Christmas exchange we get an ache in our hearts to be home with family. We know once again we won’t be part of their Christmas memories.
But believe it our not the other day as I was humming the tune of “I’ll be home for Christmas” I was given incredible peace. I started thinking about the word home, and thinking actually where is my home. Is it Colorado? Is it now Fish Hoek SA? Is it where ever I’m with Patty or family? The well quoted phrase “home is where the heart is,” hit my head. The heart is where my affections are, and yes for sure they are with my wife and family, but I will not always be near them because of distance or even death someday.
The peace came as I was reflecting on these words from Jesus the night before His death:
“And the time has come when you will all be scattered, and each one of you will go your own way, leaving Me alone! Yet I am never alone, for the Father is always with Me. And everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in Me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in Me.” (John 16:32-33 PT).
Home for Jesus was knowing in His heart that He was never alone, “The Father is always with Me!” The glory of Christmas, why Jesus came to earth is so that we would know where our true home is. Jesus came so that our hearts can be filled with the Father’s love and the love of Jesus through the Holy Spirit (see John 14:23).
Because of the work of Jesus and His living in me, I’m always home for Christmas because the Father loves me and lives in me, I’m never alone. The Christ in me makes Christmas everyday as He connects me to my Father now and forever. Nothing can separate us from our true home and heavens love that overwhelms us, we can access it and live in it every single moment of our lives.
So as Patty and I remain here in South Africa, “We will be home for Christmas!” We pray that you will be able to know the GIFT of the Christ of Christmas is that your heart has found your true home.
“Because I set you, Yahweh, always close to me, my confidence will never be weakened, for I experience Your wraparound presence every moment. My heart and soul explode with joy – full of glory!” (Psalm 16:8-9 PT)