- Jen Wise
This reflection is taken from our Advent/Christmas Prayerbook. Download your free copy here.
We’ve moved quite a few times. Pursuing a degree, heading toward some great opportunities, steering away from some not-so-great ones… we’ve been on a decade-long adventure.
“Wow,” people say, “you’ve lived in so many different cities! How fun!” Sure, it is fun in a way. Checking out new restaurants, meeting all kinds of people, decorating homes and digging into local culture – for us? A treat! Still, there’s something about being the ‘new people’ endlessly – and having to relearn everything – that is exhausting.
There have been times that, amidst a generally happy and fulfilling life, I have been surprised when an aching for home surfaces. Part of me misses the familiarity and certainty of being grounded. Maybe I’m sitting in a café – and there’s a table of girlfriends laughing and sharing stories. “That should be me!” I think, “But here I am, invisible – alone."
Somewhere along the line I learned to get a jump-start on settling in. Why wait to be invited to dinner when I am happy to do the inviting myself? As we began to come out of the starting block befriending, welcoming, and inviting, I noticed something surprising: we weren’t the only ones looking for home.
We weren’t the only people who longed for a sense of belonging and security. We, the nomads, the wanderers, the gypsies, we weren’t the only ones who could use a warm welcome, a warm meal and a warm heart. Most of us, in some way, feel a little disconnected, a little displaced.
At Christmas, Jesus makes his home with us. He dwells on earth to show us the way to true love, true security, true belonging. He makes a way for us to find home.
May we dwell deeply in Christ, and allow him to dwell deeply in us. And may we extend his love and acceptance to others as we live out the Hope of Christmas.
Jen is a compassionate theologian, obsessive foodie, constant hostess and voracious reader. She attended Cornerstone University and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary earning a MA in Theology. Jen lives with her husband and their two sons in Philadelphia. Catch up with her on twitter @jenlwise.