Home For Christmas 2020

There's no place like home for the holidays. But this year will definitely look and feel differently than years past. How can we be intentional about being Home for Christmas in 2020?

Staying Home
Normally, there is great anticipation for the in-laws coming to stay, an endless list of gifts to shop for, and just a general wanting your kids stay off of the "naughty" list for once. This year, while we all want the picture perfect Christmas with our families to be just like it "always" was, consider the unique memories that could be made this year. Take advantage of the intimacy of the moment. "Remember that special year when it was just the two of us that celebrated Christmas together? 

Coming Home
For someone who has been away for a while, the return trip might be a little bumpy. Whether its an adult businessperson returning to their high school bedroom for a couple nights, a college student returning after a semester abroad, or a teen returning home after an extended hospital stay, keep a couple things in mind. Do your best to pick up where you left off by interacting with friends and family you haven't seen in a while, understanding that they don't know the "new" you. Don't pick up where you didn't leave off by pretending a relationship was super close before. Start on the right foot, and trust the rest will fall in place. One day at a time...

Leaving Home
Perhaps this is the final Christmas before the oldest daughter gets married, the last son graduates high school, or the parents move out of the old homestead. Make some great memories together without putting so much pressure that this is the year we must all remember doing all our favorite things together for all time. Dial it back a notch and enjoy the time you have. Even if everyone is going to get in their cars and drive away in the morning and leave, choose to enjoy what you have right here and right now. Tomorrow has enough worry for itself...

Going Home
It's no surprise that the holidays are difficult for those who have recently lost loved ones. Knowing that they are in a "better place," or are "no longer in pain," or that they were "needed in heaven" doesn't make the emptiness our hearts, or the knot in our stomachs go away. Still, celebrating the memories of your loved one by talking through their old Christmas quirks and traditions can be very refreshing. It's also a good reminder to check in on someone else who may be having a difficult time this Christmas. Let them know: "I am always just a phone call away," or if you prefer "I have a ton of bacon in my car with your name on it!" It will mean the world to them! Just be there... 

The Apostle Paul closes his second letter to young Timothy by including a few personal remarks. He is writing the letter just before winter, and makes a few requests that help us see his longing for home. He asks for his jacket. He could ask him to purchase one at the local market, but he longs for what is familiar. He also asks to speak to Mark in person. He wants to enjoy some sweet conversation in a previously damaged relationship that had been reconciled. Finally, he says: The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all. 2 Tim 4:22

Friend, whatever Home for Christmas looks like for you this year, I pray that the Lord will be with your spirit. I pray that you will experience God's grace, and show the warm light of Jesus Christ to the ones you love. Merry Christmas!

Pastor Milo



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