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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Longing for home: A reflection on the Nativity of the Lord


This Christmas might feel different, but God is still with us

December 25, 2020

Living room decorated for Christmas.

Christmas recalls memories of home. Times full of awe as family gathers around wood-burning fires and glistering lit trees. A place of comfort and room at the table for everyone.

The story of Jesus’ birth reminds us of home, too. It is a story of a young family on the road, away from familiar comforts. An unwed couple needing a safe place to spend the night as they welcome a child into their lives. I imagine the first Christmas felt chaotic as the young couple wandered through the desert longing for home.

Yet in those uncertain moments, unexpected visitors arrived with gifts fit for a king. Gifts not intended for a child instead proclaiming promises past while foreshadowing future possibilities. 

This Christmas, home feels different to us. Our world aches for a sense of normalcy. We want to gather with family, but COVID-19 separates us. Traveling refugees in the United States and around the world yearn for a place to spend the night. Our neighbors of color long for a night of sound sleep knowing their life matters to those whose duty it is to protect and serve them. Our country sits on edge as power transitions to a new presidential administration.

The Nativity of our Lord reminds us that in the uneasy movements of life, God shows up. Chaos does not have the last word. It shares the story of an unwelcomed child, who has no place to call home in this world. It holds a truth greater than imaginable, that same child came to love all.

These times and this ancient story remind us that we have a responsibility to rethink the meaning of home. Who do we include in our lives? Who do we exclude intentionally or pass by mistakenly?

Christmas invites us into the lives of a young outcast family on the move. As we wander through the desert together, may we pay attention to the unexpected visitors treating them as divine guest.

Christina Cosby; Mission Specialist; Middle East, Europe and Central Asia Office; World Mission

Today’s Focus:  Christmas Reflection

Let us join in prayer for: 

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Ahmad Abri, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Let us pray:

God of the dark night and God of the new day, we give thanks for your son Emmanuel, God with us. Help us bridge the divides separating us from one another. In order that we may better notice your unexpected guests among us. It is in Jesus’ holy name we pray, amen.