Social scientists, psychologists and theologians have pointed out the importance of community and love attachments to a joyous and purpose-filled life. At the same time, they have pointed out the ways in which individual people and societies become fragmented the more we focus on social media and our devices and the less we focus on interpersonal relationships and activities.
On the fourth Sunday of Advent, when we still wait to celebrate the Birth of Christ (and his Second Coming), we pray that Jesus “may find in us a mansion prepared for himself.” Each of us has within us a home for Christ, a kingdom within. At the same time, we also speak of the body of Christ being composed of many members of the Church. And beyond that, we speak of Christ being throughout all of creation. He lives in our home, and we live in His home.
Our true home is not the home screen of our mobile devices, NetFlix, and video games; our authentic home is the mansion within us and the kingdom of Christ all around us. The trouble is, we often lose sight of that home for Christ within us, and we cannot always find it in the world around us. We feel lost inside, and we feel disconnected from family and friends—or from an ultimately meaningful life.
Our Christian practice of gathering for prayers, songs, fellowship, and acts of service to our neighbors is a way of leading us back to that home of Christ. Our Christian practice is the home button we press when we have become too scattered with worries and the weight of the world. It is a way of clearing through the clutter and remembering what is ultimately right, true, and authentic: our love for one another, and God’s love for us.
On Christmas, God comes home to live with us and to share in our lives. He chooses to be with us and to lead us out of darkness into a life of joy, purpose, and connection to God and one another. May you find a home with us at Good Samaritan, and may God move into your heart and bring you the Christmas gifts of joy and peace. Merry, Merry Christmas!