A few weeks ago I walked in on a discussion between some of Journey’s stage production staff concerning what to do for Christmas at Journey this year. They chatted about what songs to play, what decorations to hang, even what the cover of the program should look like. Most went over my head considering God chose NOT to gift me with any music or design talent. But like a 7th grader wanting to hang with the cool high school kids I piped in anyway and said, “Christmas at church should feel like coming home.”
Our new worship pastor paused, looked up from his computer and said, “Oh! I like that, I’m going to write that down.”I felt like Sally Fields with an Oscar, my insides screaming, “They like me…they really like me!”
But later, it got me thinking about home, and what it means to get that feeling inside the doors of a church. Like so many of us, to say my childhood was “broken” is putting it nicely. Home was not a happy place.
Yet, I somehow always carried an idea of what home should be.
It feels like this picture. Grand. Warm. Festive. Safe. Loving.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible for us in Southern California to have two story brick homes with snow covered yards on Christmas morning like that Home Alone kid had here. Just like it is not possible for us to ever feel completely home in a world that has sickness, violence, sexism, poverty, hunger, racism, war, child abuse, and more.
But we are taught to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 for God’s home, God’s Kingdom, to come near anyway.
That’s because Christmas, the birth of Jesus, brought home to us. It is not our perfect, dream home just yet, but his arrival wrapped us in the grand, warm, festive, safe and loving embrace of his presence. This season, let the air around you grow thick with it. Be at home wherever you are.
— Heather Klein, Connection and Formation Coordinator