Come Home for Christmas: He is Our Home
We have a saying in our culture: “Home is where the heart is”. Christmas invites us to rethink that saying and expand how we interpret its meaning. Matthew reminds us that when the wise men came to visit Jesus, He was found in his house. He grew up in a home with Mary and Joseph. Matthew says:
They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Matthew 2:11
Over the years his physical home changed from Bethlehem, the home of His ancestors, to Egypt, the home of his refuge from Herod; finally, he would move to Nazareth--the obscure wilderness from which He would eventually emerge as an adult. Even though His physical home changed He was always at home with the Father. Home is not a place but a Person.
“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which mean ‘God is with us.’” Matthew 1:23
It is a powerful statement: “God is with us”. So often we only think about it in the sense of God being in the world in a general way. We simply think that God is present everywhere. But that was true before Christmas took place-- the great and good God of creation was present everywhere in and through His creation. Christmas says God is “with us.” He is personally present and in relationship with us. He lives with us everyday and in every situation. Before He left for His home in heaven, Jesus said:
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them. John 14:23
His personal presence becomes our home; his presence makes our home. Simply, He is our home. Our home is not brick and mortar that keeps us safe in thunderstorms-- it is the person with power to calm those storms. Our home is not the porch light on the front door--it is the light of the world that guides our way. Our home is not identified by an address on the mailbox, but rather it is the name Immanuel--“God with us”--written on our minds and hearts.
Before He ascended to be at home with the Father Jesus said:
Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20
As Joshua took up the challenge of a new direction in his life God reassured him:
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8
In the solitude of his struggles the Psalmist knows:
Lord, through all the generations you have been our home! Psalms 90:1
As you worship in your home today there is the invitation to celebrate that Christ, our
Immanuel, our “God is with us”, came 2000 years ago deep into our world to make a home for you.
Just as the wise men entered a home in Bethlehem, we can let Him enter into and even become our home today. With Him present, we can share our hearts, kneel, and surrender our lives; we can lift up our hands of praise in the deepest pit or highest mountaintop; we can share our gifts with others just as we receive the gift of his presence.
Today is Christmas and we have a home in Him: “God is with us”.