Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Home Coming

not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 NAS)

Christmas Home Coming If we are expecting someone we love coming home for Christmas, we will be filled with joy as we looked forward to the day drawing near. What a joy it will be when we meet our love ones face to face once again!

Home coming for Christmas is a great joy to many, yet to some, it may be a chore, a yearly routine of time wasted in meaningless discussion, or a gathering of memories of things past, of good and bad, happy and sad, pleasant and unpleasant all mingled together.

A family get together during Christmas is like a big family reunion where all of us who have been too busy with our lives and our own conjugal families come together to spend time with each other. Gathering together to meet each other during occasions such as this, however, is not what is most important, for physical presence alone, with minds absent or miles away is as good as being far away. Coming home for Christmas is therefore about giving attention to one another to encourage and to catch up with each other.

The Bible in Hebrews 10:25 teaches us not to forsake our own assembling together, but to encourage one another, all the more as we see the day drawing near. This scriptural verse has been used many times to encourage Christians to attend church services regularly. While there is no doubt about the importance of meeting together in church regularly to worship God as a congregation and to fellowship, the question remains however whether our minds are set on honoring Him when we are physically present in such services. Are we giving our heart, mind and soul to the Lord in worshipping Him, or are we miles away even while in the presence of the Lord?

As we return home for Christmas this year, may we remember what the word ‘Christmas’ truly means. Christmas is 'Christ mass', the gathering together of brothers, sisters, parents and children in Christ, much like a spiritual family reunion. Many of us have heard the inspirational words, "Christ is the Head of this house; the Unseen Guest at every meal; the Silent Listener to every conversation" by an unknown author. In a sense, this is true. Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23), so Christ ought to be the Head of the house as well. He is the unseen Guest and God whom we worship, not just during meals at home, but also in our lives while we are awake or asleep, every moment and wherever we may be. God is the Listener to every of our conversation, at home, in church and everywhere else. He is always present to listen to us, but are we talking the right things when we gather together? Are our conversations what God wants to hear?

Let us all therefore not complain about the chores or the difficulty of travel when we go home this Christmas. Home is where our hearts should be, whether it is our own homes or the homes of our parents or siblings. We should therefore above all remember what is most important in such gatherings is our attention, our presence beyond the physical, just as God is always present with us beyond the physical. We should also encourage one another to express our love one for another.

Dear Lord, help us not to have our minds wandering away while we gather together for Christmas at home and in church. Help us understand how You feel when we come together to meet up with You and with members of our family with minds far away. Teach us to love You and to love one another, just as You love us so much that You died on the Cross for us even while we were far away from You. Forgive us Lord for neglecting our assembling together while we busy ourselves with our own lives. Bring us closer to You Lord as we purpose once again to be faithful in returning home for Christ mass to worship You every Lord’s Day.

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