Northside Christmas Lights Readers: If this is your first visit to this blog be sure to scroll down to Devotion 1 to begin your study.
Christmas Lights – Home Light
In 1914, the British patriotic song, “Keep the Home-Fires Burning” was composed by Ivor Novello (music) and Lena Gilbert Ford (words). It appeared as loved ones in the United Kingdom were leaving home to fight in World War I. The last lines of the song sum up the feelings of those left behind:
“Keep the home fires burning, while your hearts are yearning. Though your lads are far away they dream of home. There’s a silver lining through the dark clouds shining. Turn the dark cloud inside out, ’til the boys come home.”
When we are separated from the people we love for extended periods of time, “home-fires” always mean more. On a normal day, we might not even remember walking through the front door. But absence transforms the mundane into magnificence, and we can’t wait to be home.
Do you think Jesus was ever homesick during His earthly ministry? I know this raises some serious theological points. For starters, how could He experience homesickness when the universe was His home, and being God in the flesh, was never really separated from the Father and the Spirit?
Yet, the Bible tells us Jesus was tempted in every way as we are (Hebrews 4:15). This is why His Father sent angels to care for Him after His wilderness temptation (Matthew 4:11). Surely the presence of Mary at the foot of the cross comforted Jesus, even as He spoke to John who was at her side: “Here is your mother” (John 19:27).
Whether or not we are comfortable saying Jesus experienced homesickness, we know He walked a pathway of incredible pain and sorrow. He left “equality with God” to come in “human likeness” and suffer death on the cross for us (Philippians 2:6-8). Then, after He had suffered, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Have you ever thought about why God chose to bring Jesus into the world through a family? The One who created the first Adam could have just as easily created an adult body for His incarnation (Jesus was, after all, the second Adam – 1 Corinthians 15:45-47). Could it be, for compassion’s sake, God wanted Jesus to have an earthly family to love and encourage Him? While it is true His family didn’t always understand Him, they cared for His welfare, and provided a home away from home.
Mary and Joseph created the “home-fire” that gave Jesus the earthly roots He needed to survive His ministry. His earthly home wasn’t the only thing that sustained Him, but it was vital to His time here.
A “home-fire” is important to everyone. Just as Jesus had a family on earth who loved Him, we all need to know there are others in our lives that care. Do you know someone who is homesick? Is there a person in your life who doesn’t know they are loved? What would it mean if they knew they had a home…a home with God…a home with God’s people?
The church is God’s home away from home on earth. It is the place where people come home. It is where the “home-fire” burns as it lights the way to the Father. Mary and Joseph had a big job, as do we. They created a place for the Son of God. We provide a place where people can come to know Him.
It is good to have a place to call home! Pray that God will use you to help others find their place.