Our children worked out a system where they are either with us for Thanksgiving or here at Christmas. After they marry you have to share them with their in-laws. So far its worked out ok – they were all here a few weeks ago, thus all will be away from home for Christmas. In fact, Sue and I will celebrate the holiday with my sister in South Carolina, away from home too. Do you remember the first Christmas you were away from home? Well, we’re not alone.
Joseph and Mary were away from home. Their hometown was Nazareth, but Jesus was born 80 miles south in Bethlehem.
The shepherds were away from home too. They were out in field keeping watch over their flocks. Even the angels were away from home here on earth announcing Jesus’ birth. Though the wise men technically arrived on the scene maybe a year or two after Jesus’ birth we traditionally connect them to the Christmas story. They were a long way from home. But most of all – the Son of God was away from home. Christ did not begin at Bethlehem – he’s eternal. Christ left the glories of heaven to come to earth as a child and die as a man for our sins.
Dear friend, as believers in Christ we too are away from home regardless of where we spend the holiday. Our real home is heaven. Scripture calls us aliens – foreigners. Jesus said he was leaving to prepare a place for us – in his Father’s house. Thank you, Father, that no matter where we spend Christmas this year, we can be at home with you. Amen.