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2017-12-19 14.07.29What do you think of when you hear,“Merry Christmas”?

The early years of Jesus’ life do not appear to be merry and bright. His family’s story is met with darkness, it was a brutal time.  

Joseph, Mary, and Jesus have made Bethlehem their home for a couple of years. After receiving the blessing of the Magi’s visit they have received some unwanted attention from Herod. The Magi had traveled from far away to search for Jesus and now Herod embarks on his own search, not to bless Jesus, but to shed blood.

Joseph and Mary must leave their home once again just as they did for the census. They must travel a long distance to search for a new place to call home. They embarked to Egypt and there wasn’t must time to spare. They left in the middle of the night.

This may be how you might describe your current circumstances. You feel like you are a midnight traveler without a home. You are searching for belonging and you are searching for a way to escape the darkness and brutality of life. You’ve made decisions that were a result of some unfavorable events that you feel were forced upon you. You just want to gain control of your life, your future.

You want a safe place. You want a place that you can call home. Really, home is not just a place or destination it is being accepted for who you are without any fear of harm.

We may have more in common with the Christmas story than we realize. Jesus and his family can relate to your midnight traveling, and even in the middle of midnight traveling, you can experience “home.”

Jesus once told his disciples that he did not have a place to lay his head. During his ministry, he was a consummate traveler. He made his home with friends and gracious people who would take him in and provide to meet his needs.

Would you be willing to take Jesus in?

Jesus would travel through foreign territory like Samaria, he would boat in the middle of the night and walk the sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm. He would eventually walk the long road to Golgotha carrying his own object of torture and execution, the cross.

From the beginning of his life to his last breath Jesus walked in darkness. Yet, he was not overcome by it.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5

Jesus has escaped and overcomes the midnight darkness of death so that you can have the light of life in yours.

After Herod’s death, Joseph brings the family to Nazareth in Galilee. Jesus will be raised here. He will not be raised as royalty but like a peasant.

Jesus is the light of the world and he once shined bright in Nazareth. Will you let Jesus shine as the light of the world in your home? He may have once shone brightly in your life but through a series of events and choices, he seems a distant light. Even in a glimmer, he can return once more to make his home in yours.

When you give Jesus a home then you have found yours.

The Christmas story is amazing because it’s a redeeming, against all odds, hopeful story for the poor in Spirit, the midnight traveler, the person searching for belonging, the person without a place to call home.

With Jesus, you belong. With Jesus, you will always have a home.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” – John 1:14

You don’t have to be afraid to do life alone. You don’t have to be afraid of traveling in the dark because following Jesus means you never have to walk in darkness again (John 8:12).

Jesus chose to call earth his home. He chooses to move into your neighborhood. You don’t have to wonder if you belong. Jesus wants to live in community with you to give you that safe place of belonging.

Come home to Jesus.

The story of Christmas is really a story about your homecoming.

So, the next time you hear “Merry Christmas,” may you hear Jesus say to you “Welcome home.”

What do you think of when you hear, “Merry Christmas”?

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Jovan preaches for the Littleton Church of Christ near Denver, Colorado. Visit here to listen to sermons preached at the Littleton Church. 

Posted by jovanbarrington