Ah yes, the holidays. A time when families gather together at the old homestead, take sleigh rides, sip cocoa before the fire. This is a season when every boy and girl is at their best behavior and mother and father spend each idle moment in warm embraces and pleasant exchanges.
Okay, who am I kidding? Life is not that way and neither are the holidays. In fact, I have never been on a sleigh ride and have rarely seen one of my children, or my nieces or nephews (even the ones not in jail) at their best behavior. What usually transpires are cryptic threats to the children like, “If you don’t get this room clean Santa Clause is going to leave you underwear – do you understand me?!” Or how about when all of the extended families come together and secretly everyone is assessing each other to see who has gained weight, whose kids are the brightest (mine are, by the way), and who is having trouble at work.
We rush from home dragging our children in tow, along with our casseroles, sweet potato pie and some new recipe from Southern Living. Why do we do it? Why do families do this every year from coast to coast, sea to shining sea? I believe at the heart of the matter it is because we need one another. We really do not need our accomplishments or failures; we do not need our insightful ideas, inspirations or bragging rights. We just need each other. Christian Morgenstern wrote: “Home is not where you live, but where they understand you.” Well, I am sure there are times that our families back home may not always understand us. But that’s okay – we are family after all.
And so we are as God’s people. We are family here too. A spiritual home. A place where we make and cherish memories. As Christmas is now upon us, may you and yours be at peace and find your welcome in this home of God.
Amy, the boys and I want to thank you for being “home” to us in this community and especially within this church family.
Grace and peace,