I’ll Be Home For Christmas

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Two of my favorite Christmas songs are – “I’ll Be home for Christmas” (Rusty Yanok version) and “There’s No place Like Home for the Holidays” (Perry Como version)

I left home in 1987. I’ve been home every Christmas except 23 years ago in 1990. (Explain)

I want to ask you a question – Are You Home for Christmas? Are you home in the true essence of the word?

•People seem to have this homing device:
Gets tripped every year at about this time
It causes us to do anything to get home
We will fly, drive, even walk – or jet ski if we have to
Just to get home for Christmas

Sadly enough – a lot of people will not be home for Christmas (Think about the soldiers on the battlefields)

•If you think about it – The first christmas – a lot of people are not home
•Mary & Joseph were not home – they were from Nazareth – in Bethlehem bc of a census
•The Shepherds were not home – they were pulling an all nighter

Text – (Luke 2:4-16 ESV) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!

•The Wise men were not at home either – They had taken this incredible road trip from the far east – They were following the star – looking for the Christ child
•(Matthew 2:1 NIV) “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.”

•In a real way – Jesus himself, was not at home – He left the glory and splendor of heaven to be born in a manger – an ordinary piece of farm furniture – left hom to die a sacrificial death for all people.
• (John 6:51 NIV) (Jesus said) “I am the living bread that came down from heaven…which I will give for the life of the world.

Fredrick Buechner said, “The claim that Christianity makes for Christmas is that at a particular time and place God came to be with us Himself.”

First Scene in Hamlet – “Some say that ever ‘gainst that season comes wherein our Saviors birth is celebrated…So hallowed and gracious is the time…”

•Galatians 4:4-5 ESV – But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

•Isaiah 7:14 ESV – Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel

song – “…pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel…”

•John 1:14 ESV – And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Dwelt – set up a tent. Does not imply temporal. But familiar, close, interaction

What does “Home” mean?

A lot of homeless people out there. Very sad. Why? Everybody needs a home. It’s a special place.

What makes “home” so special?
When I say the word “Home”, what do you think about?
I’ve been pondering that over the last several days.

What Does “Home” Mean?
It’s about a place.

•93 Sycamore St. Adena, Ohio (Christmas memories, food, smells)
•Now I think about Columbus – this is home for us now

It’s about people.
•When I think about home I think about my Family
•Some say “I have a hard time thinking about my family” bc you grew up in a dysfunctional home
•I thank God for our Church family – it’s also home. GraceTown is our home. It’s all about the people.

It’s about protection.
•When you say the word “home” – I think of safety- sanctuary. In baseball when you slide into home – ump says “Safe”.
•Place where you can let your hair down. A place to be yourself

When Your Home for Christmas
(John 14:2-3 NIV) “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

Some here today have a void in your life. You need a Home. But you wonder what will happen if you let Christ in your life

Helen Keller, who was born blind and deaf said, “The only blind person at Christmas time is he who has not Christ in his heart”

Your location will change.

(John 14:23) Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

•You’ll have a home in heaven – a new address. Paul said his citizenship had changed – no longer an earthling.

(Philippians 3:20) “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

•When Heaven is your home -Earth cannot disappoint you as much

(Hebrews 11:13) (People of faith are) “…aliens and strangers on earth. They were longing for a better country–a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

2. Your relationship will change.

When you make heaven your home – you get a new family. God never wanted to be your religion – He wants to be your Father.

(Romans 8:15) “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”

•Literally, that means we can cry out, “Daddy”

(John 15:15) “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends.”

(Matthew 7:22-23) “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you.’”

•This is very important to God – All of heaven will be determined at this point.

3. Your security will change.

He understands your loneliness – how empty and insecure – He wants to bring safety – security – a home.

(Hebrews 13:5) “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”

EX: Years ago Earnest Hemingway wrote a story about a young man named Paco who ran away from home and went to Madrid Spain. He was estranged from his father and his father was heart broken and did everything he could to find his son. Finally in desperation eh went to the newspaper in Madrid and he took out an add in the personal columns that said this, “Paco, all is forgiven. I want you to come home. Meet me tomorrow at 12 noon in front of the hotel Montana.” The next day the Father showed up and he was shocked to find that 800 young men had responded to that ad – Paco’s that were estranged from their fathers.

Your Heavenly Father wants you to come home! It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done or who’ve you’ve done it with or how you’ve done it – God says I want you to come home to my love and forgiveness. That’s what Christmas is all about!

Matthew 1:21 – “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”

You may ask – “What do I do now?”

(Revelation 3:20) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Think about this – God gave the greatest gift of all – His Son.

He is standing there knocking. He is knocking through the problems in your life
He has been knocking on the door during this service. You control the door!
He wants to meet you right where you are! – He loves you! You matter to God!

Pray a “I’ll be home for Christmas” prayer – Pray, “Jesus come into my life and make yourself at home”

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