And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn
(Luke 2:7, NKJV).
My most recent release is a Christmas story about homelessness. Some people have asked me why I chose such a topic for a Christmas book. I tell them that homelessness seems to be the theme of the original Christmas story, so why not use it in my contemporary one?
Think about it. The Scriptures tell us there was no room for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in the inn. Temporarily homeless, the young couple laid Mary’s firstborn in a manger, a place where animals came to feed. And yet, homeless though Jesus was, angels proclaimed His birth; shepherds looked on in awe; wise men saw the star and set out on a long journey to find Him.
But even as Jesus grew up in Mary and Joseph’s home, He was still homeless. No doubt He went through His thirty-three years on earth feeling intense homesickness for His permanent home with His Father. Though He accomplished all the Father sent Him to do while He was here, His heart longed for home.
As should ours. Though my novel tells of a young family and a Vietnam vet (among others) who for a time are without a physical home here on earth, it is really a story that calls us all to focus on the eternal home that awaits us when we finally enter into God’s presence. Wanting a home here on earth is understandable, and we should be grateful for it. But as we begin this Advent Season and draw close to the day when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, may we not forget that we will never truly be home until we are at last in the Father’s presence.