Here’s A Thought for Dec. 22

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is a Christmas song recorded in 1943 by Bing Crosby. Originally written to honor soldiers overseas who longed to be home at Christmastime. This song is sung from the point of view of a soldier stationed overseas during World War II, writing a letter to his family. In the message, he tells the family he will be coming home and to prepare the holiday for him, and requests snow, mistletoe, and presents on the tree. The song ends on a melancholy note, with the soldier saying, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams”

However, do you realize that none of the main characters of that first Christmas event were at home? From sacred Scripture we learn that the Virgin Mary and her husband, “Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child” (Luke 2:4,5)

Remember the shepherds, they were living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” (Luke 2:8) Even God’s holy angels left their home in heaven we are told: “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord….Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests… The angels had left them and gone into heaven” (Luke 2:8-15)

Even Gentiles (non-Jews) left their homes when they saw God’s worldwide birth announcement of a messianic Savior King by a miraculous star. We read: “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” (Matthew 2:1, 2)

Having spoken to Herod they left Jerusalem to continue their long journey from home and we are told that “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him…” (Matthew 2:10)

Finally, we are told that the angel Gabriel said to the Virgin Mary: “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High….and His Kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:30-33)

His name is Jesus which means “God saves” or Savior. Indeed, the Babe of Bethlehem is God in the flesh, who left his home in heaven to redeem his people, from their sins, from death, and the power of the devil.

For what purpose? So that you and I as members of God’s family will “be Home for Christmas” eternally as we sing: “Good Christian men, rejoice with heart and soul and voice now ye hear of endless bliss Joy! Joy! Jesus Christ was born for this He hath opened the heavenly door and we are blessed evermore. Christ was born for this….”

Chopp is a chaplain emeritus, MDiv, BCC, from Marshall

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