Saturday, December 24, 2011

Journeys of Christmas 5

Christmas Day
            Thank you for traveling through Advent with me and the participants in the first Noel, none of whom were home for Christmas. I have one more traveler to write about as we reach Christmas Day. Of all the journeys made that long ago year, none spanned a greater distance than the one made by the Messiah himself. 

            He departed eternity and entered time, trading the expansive light of the universe for the small darkness of his mother’s womb.
            He departed an existence of equality with his father God, and entered a life limited by his new human flesh.
            He departed sovereignty and entered servanthood.

            His journey did not end in a rustic stable in Bethlehem or even on Galilee’s seashore decades later. His journey took him to a skull-shaped hill outside Jerusalem and a rough wooden cross…but it did not end there.
            His journey continued into a chill, soundless tomb…but it did not end there.
            His journey culminated in a rebirth into resurrection life and a return to the place of highest honor at his father’s side.

            Because Jesus made such a journey, we are invited to come home for Christmas, home to God’s family.
            Several years ago, I brought a poem to my writers critique group, where a gifted poet gently suggested I should stick to prose. I ignored her, because some poems need to be shared, even if they rhyme.

The Teacher told a tale one day
about a son who runs away.
Sick of home and family rules,
he exits town and hangs with fools,
wastes his cash, then tends a pen
slopping hogs, till one day when
sense returns, he quits the dust,
and pencils a sign, Dad’s House or Bust.

Now here’s the part that really shocked:
The boy gets home, the door’s unlocked,
and Dad comes sprinting down the street,
his errant son to kiss and greet.

Likewise at my Father’s home,
the porch light glows for all to come
and feast on grace and hope and cheer,
because it’s always Christmas here.

Thank you, Jesus, for leaving your father’s home so that we could come home to your father.

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