Home For The Holidays

The following is an article published in The Town Messenger on December 14, 2010.
This year, for the first time in our married life, my husband and I will not be travelling home for Christmas. That’s because earlier this year, we moved back to the Austin area. This is where we are from, where we were married, and where most of our family (immediate family, that is) lives. We are already home for the holidays.
During our time in Fort Smith, Arkansas, we made the annual trip home to Austin for Christmas, and each year the futile attempt to squeeze in even brief visits with as many friends and family members as possible always left us wishing we had more time.
Since we are already here, rather than just showing up to exchange presents and eat, we get to be a part of the Christmas preparations with our families. David hung lights outside his mom’s place the other day, and I decorated my parents’ Christmas tree this week. We received a Christmas card from one of David’s sisters the other day, and I was almost giddy as I realized it was our first since returning home. Despite my husband’s claims that I am high-maintenance, it really doesn’t take much to make me a happy girl. Home is a good place to be.
It’s interesting to me that of all the holidays we celebrate, Christmas and Thanksgiving are the ones that draw us away from our daily grind, sending us into planes, trains and automobiles bound for the place we long for more than any other: home. Thanksgiving has obvious undertones of why we go home, being thankful for the things and people most important to us, the traditions and activities that keep us connected through the years.
But I found myself wondering today, “Why Christmas? Why is being home for Christmas so important to us?” It didn’t take long for the answer to become clear in that simple, quiet way that the most profound truths usually arrive. The still, small voice inside me whispered, “Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?”
It’s true. God sent His son into a broken humanity with the single purpose of restoring our fellowship with Him, ultimately bringing His family home. To be with Him. Forever.
I believe that our desire to be home for Christmas is actually part of a deeper desire to be drawn into that place where we truly belong – that spot that can only be filled by us, deep in the heart of God Himself. It was the longing in His heart that motivated Him to give us the most precious Gift ever given, and it is the longing in our own hearts that must ultimately respond, accepting that gift and giving ourselves in return.
That is what Christmas is all about. Everything else is just fluff.
No matter where you find yourself as Christmas rolls around, whether or not you get to spend the day with family or friends, you can still spend it with the One who made it all possible. In your own heart of hearts, will you be home for Christmas?
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One Response to Home For The Holidays

  1. Shelrae says:

    Thanks Rachael for reminding us where our REAL HOME is and to remember to connect with our Father during this crazy season. I’m driving to the place where my heart calls home on earth (Colorado) tomorrow. I don’t mind the 7 hour drive since I play my Bible on CD’s, listen to worship music and have some of my best talks with the Lord. God Bless You sweetie as you continue writing on behalf of Jesus to encourage us…