As a teen I longed to have a place of my own – to have freedom.
I wanted to come and go when I pleased like my parents did. I wanted to go to bed when I pleased you know, like an adult. Did my parents really mean it when they told me adulthood was not all it was cracked up to be. It sounded pretty wonderful to me.
I soon found out that the freedom I thought was “out there” came with a lot of responsibility.
I could come and go as I pleased, to classes, then to work.
I could go to bed when I pleased, and I was pleased to do so around 8 or 9, yes even on a Saturday night.
Soon I looked forward to going back home, especially for Christmas
I looked forward to being back in my room, still decorated with my childhood decorations. My mom enjoyed making the house warm and welcoming for my arrival.
God’s children wanted their freedom too. They too questioned if what God said was really what He meant to say.
When they left Eden they found out very quickly that life “out there” was what God was trying to keep them from experiencing.
Ever since Adam and Eve left Eden, at the very core of God’s plan for Christmas is His desire for us to be back home in heaven with Him.
To Bring Us Home!
Being home for Christmas is at the heart of the season.
We sing songs about it:
“Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays.”
“I’ll be home for Christmas.”
If you stop for a moment and think about being home for the holidays what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Is it a meal? A scent? A sound? A scene?
When I was in college I couldn’t wait to get home for Christmas. I loved the comfort of my bed and hearing the bustle of mom at work in the kitchen.
I also liked going to bed listening to my dad playing guitar and singing (still do when I visit him or he visits me).
It was all the familiar sounds, smells, and — oooh — the taste of Mom’s traditional recipes that I looked forward to when I was younger.
Now as a parent myself, I love having my kids come home!
Last year we moved from WA to TN. I worked around the clock to have our home and “their” rooms ready. I picked special decorations for their rooms, looking for items from their childhood.
My Daughter has an old teddy bear named PEEF. One son has a Santa in Mariner hat placing a baseball in a sleeping boy’s glove figurine and the other son has a clock that plays christmas songs on the hour. I put candles in their rooms, little poinsettias, a christmas nightlight, a couple storybooks, a special christmas blanket and a few (as my daughter called them ) cracknuts – aka Nutcrackers. 😉
I even put Christmas towels in their bathrooms with the Christmas scented hand soap and body washes so they could smell like winter candy apple. I couldn’t wait.
Finally the day came when we headed to the airport to get them. I couldn’t wait to hug them and show them the place I had prepared for them in our new home!
I’m sure you know where I am headed with this analogy. John tells us that God is doing the same thing for us! In John 14:2-3 it says, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you will always be with me where I am”
He wants us to ALWAYS be with him – where He is – where we belong – at HOME
I believe that the rooms will be prepared with each one of us in mind, like I did for each of my kids! All of the rooms will be different, and they will be HOME.
If you are an artist, I like to think your room will be equipped for your art.
If you are a musician, your room will have the instruments that you play.
I will have a writing desk, a violin ( I will actually be able to play for others).
If you cook, oh man all the finest ingredients at your fingertips.
We will hear the angels singing, our loved ones conversing, animals playing, birds chirping, and water babbling.
We will smell amazing fragrances — tropical, evergreen, spices — and many we’ve never even smelled before!
Best of all we will hear our Father calling us to the table for a feast.
He is home preparing a place for us right now.
We will have a true Christmas – in communion with the anointed one.
We will hold those we lost, be with family we never met. Our bodies will be made new!
We will meet people who prayed intercessory prayers on our behalf.
We will meet the angels God sent and hear their stories.
We will get to thank those who changed our lives and we will be thanked by those whose lives we changed.
It will truly be, The Best Christmas Ever.
It is my prayer that these four special Christmas podcast episodes together gave you hope and peace about God’s plan.
The past two years have been years like we have never experienced before.
2022 is around the corner. It holds promise. It brings something new. It also holds uncertainty.
But we can have peace knowing that we are treasured, that
God is with us! He gave the gift of life so that death could not keep us from coming home.
The best Christmas ever has been His plan for us all along.
Father, I pray that you will turn our hearts toward you as Christmas approaches. Let us not get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and miss the chance to celebrate the gifts of hope, peace, joy, and love that you sent to us on that first Christmas.. Thank you, Father, for your treasured gift. In your name, we pray. Amen
I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I’ll be taking the month of January 2022 off and when I return in February the podcast will be audio only.