“I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” Then I most certainly am home. I have dreamed of being in this place for years. Yes, I have had visions of what the years will bring. As a small child I always dreamed about the day when I’d have my own family, my own house, and my own profession. I remember career day in fifth grade. My life-goal was to be the guy who rode on the back of the garbage truck, but my mom didn’t approve. I thought that would be the best job in the world, but instead I went as a pastor to appease my mother. Wearing a suit and carrying a bible, I earned a nickname that stuck all the way through graduation, “Preacher Boy.”
I didn’t always dream of becoming a pastor. I ran from that calling for over 20 years. During that time I was: a mental health worker, a loan officer, a marketer, a merchandiser, and a missionary. God eventually got me back on track.
Our family is celebrating one full year at Connection Point Church here in Sidney. It has been such a good year for our family. I am thankful to be a member of our community. I am confident of the plans God has for us. The path ahead will surely surprise me along with the way … as it already has, and yet I have glimpsed the end. I know where we will finish, and I can tell you that right now, I am home for Christmas.
Home for Christmas … it is a silent place. A place that is somehow slightly set apart from the world. You may know that moment … maybe you have it now, or maybe you find it in your memory. It is that quiet and tangible place where you sit in the silence of a Christmas Eve and you simply contemplate the shining of a single bulb on the tree. Can you feel it? Maybe you can remember a Christmas when the world just felt warm and right? Maybe you’re still secretly searching?
Can you slow down just long enough to consider… “peace on earth, goodwill to all those on whom God’s favor rests.” Sure, things are still chaotic, the world is a mess, maybe you’re a mess, or you’re aggravated by those you love most, and yet… for a small quiet moment… you see, and even feel that holy, silent night.
Maybe it is time for us all to humble ourselves and turn our faces toward God on this silent night and to simply invite that bay, our King, our Father to speak to our hearts. Surely it is time for you and I to be women and men who receive favor from God as we see the needs of others above our own desires.
That silent night was shattered by millions of angels who boldly proclaimed that God had found a way to forever banish the darkness. This for me is where the love light gleams. It is the radiance of His star. And wherever His light shines down on me… that is where I am home. I hope that you’ll find yourself home for Christmas.
The writer is the pastor of Connections & Missions at Connection Point Church of God in Sidney.