Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Home For Christmas

“Home for Christmas” is our Advent theme.  The phrase brings smiles to some faces as folks anticipate sweet time with loved ones.  But the phrase is painful to others, who are missing loved ones this year or don’t feel like they have a “home” exactly.  I suppose it’s some of both for me.  In addition to the sermons and a poem I’m trying to write about “home,” let me offer you three ways to ruminate about “home” this holy season:

  1. What does it mean to be “home” at this point in your life? Is home a place?  a set of people?  engaging in certain traditions?  Or is home a way of living, a way of trusting God, wherever you are?  Perhaps to be home means to stop wishing you were somewhere else, with someone else, living a different life.  What does it mean to be “home” at this point in you life?

  2. How can you create a “home” for Christ in your life? Lisa Withrow once prayed, “Make our hearts into a cradle for our savior.”  As in the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13), when the seed of God’s kingdom falls on you, will it sprout and grow?  Or are you too busy, too fearful, too preoccupied, or too apathetic to make room for Jesus?  How can you create a “home” for Christ in your life?

  3. How can we see that more of God’s children are at “home” in God’s world? Every Sunday our Welcome Team works to help everyone who shows up—guest and member alike—feel beloved and at home.  Our church recently outfitted an apartment and received into our midst an immigrant family.  But what of that so-called Caravan of Central Americans in Tijuana, stuck between a violent “home” and a longed-for “home” that will not let them in?  What of the Rohingya, Muslims dangerously fleeing Buddhist Myanmar by the hundreds of thousands?  What of those who sleep outside in our own city?  What does it mean to be “home” when others so heart-breakingly are not?

Home for Christmas:  ponder one of these . . . ponder all of them.  And wherever you are, my friends, be home with Christ, home in the shelter of God’s love. 

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