Home for Christmas
Earlier this year, we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. A Christmas song which became popular during that conflict is the familiar “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” It speaks of the longing of someone who wants to be home for this very special holiday, but knows he probably won’t: I’ll be home for Christmas, / If only in my dreams.
Most of us, when we are away working for a company, at school, or in the military, want to go home for special occasions. We want to be with family and friends. This is only natural. Sometimes someone might say, “What’s the matter? Don’t you like it here?” But that’s the wrong question. Home is home, or as an older song says, “There’s no place like home.” Or, as the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.”
Abraham left his home in Ur with his father and brothers and moved to Paran. Later he left them there for Canaan, which became his earthly home for the rest of his life. But to him it was not really home. The writer of Hebrews says, “By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (11:9-10).
It is this outlook which is reflected in another song, “This World Is Not My Home.” For those of us who are the spiritual heirs of Abraham, who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior, our real home is not here, but in Heaven, in the New Jerusalem, the city made by God. When a Christian, a believer in Christ, dies, we may say, “He (or she) has gone home.” Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” One way to interpret this is to see God as welcoming His children home.
Several people we know, relatives and friends, and friends and relatives of those we know, have passed on so far this year. Some of them have gone on during the past month or so. Most of them were Christians. So as we celebrate the holiday here, they are home for Christmas.