Daily Archives: December 24, 2010

Home for Christmas

Friday December 24

Psalm 90

For most of my adult life, I have lived in other people’s houses. As a clergy family, our idea of home has never been a house, because that changes. Our ideas of personalizing a house have never been an option, because there have always been rules and committees, warnings about what to plant, and the challenges of decorating around “Methodist tan.” Our parsonages have ranged from a mobile home to a stunning, enormous 100-year-old house.

The concept of home for my family is probably different than most other families. When our son left for Iraq I told him I was sad that while he was deployed he could not picture a place to which he could come back “home.” I will never forget this words back to me. “ Dan’t worry mom, where you and Daddy are, whatever church he is serving-that will be home. It is impossible to separate the two.” By the time, our granddaughter was three years old, Nana and Papa had live at four different addresses. For our family, houses are of little importance and are never home.

The ancient Hebrews’ history included slavery in Egypt, decades of wandering in the Sinai desert, and exile in Babylon. So often, they were not in their own land. So often, they longed for home. The writer of the Psalm assured these Hebrews that across the years, no matter where they slept, God had loved and preserved them. He was their home.

Home is a refuge, a place to go for love with no limits. We are safe at home. At home, we are without pretense. Home is a place of hope and encouragement. When life beats down on us, when we face one problem after another, hurt after hurt, unrelenting pain or constant fear – home is our refuge. When others seem so unmerciful or when the years pile up with terrifying swiftness – home is our safe harbor. There we can rest under God’s shadow. We can live in the shade of His grace. We can dwell in His peace and protection. God is “home.”

Over all these years, I have begun to believe that God is my home, or as the psalmist put it, “God is my dwelling place.” When Jesus came into this world at Bethlehem, He left his home in heaven. God lived as a man to show us the way to go home. He came to insure us an eternal dwelling place that would be our refuge forever. His birth, His life, His death, and His resurrection where all about giving us this dwelling place. Whenever we are with God, now or in eternity, we are home. It is impossible to separate the two.

Reflection – Meditate on the times when God has been your dwelling place as you have journeyed through life.
Monica Boudreaux

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My Soul Shook

Thursday, December 23

Luke 2: 41-52

It was dark with only a small fire for light and warmth. Suddenly an intense brightness, a light such as we had never seen, a light that could never be produced from a fire or oil lamp flooded our field. An angel stepped out of the blinding light. I have never been so terrified. But the angel spoke words of reassurance to us and then the promise of Good News. The Angel instructed us to go look for a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding trough! This baby was the Messiah, the Savior. The sky was suddenly filled with a multitude of heavenly beings singing a holy hymn of joy.

Still partly blinded by the light and recovering from fear on trembling legs, we were led by a sense of holy presence to a barn behind an inn. He was lying in an ordinary crude manger filled with fresh hay. I saw Him – MY SOUL SHOOK! Aaron, the shepherd.

It was the day after Passover. The crowds were leaving Jerusalem, traveling back to their homes. The Temple was nearly empty after the hectic days of the annual pilgrimage. I am a doctor of the law and on that day, I made my way over to meet with my colleagues for the discussion of the day’s questions. I was surprised to see in their midst a small boy. All of us were amazed at the depth of his understanding of the intricacies of the law. For him, the law was more than rules; it was a matter of heart. He led us to see Yahweh’s purpose. With all our combined years of study, our insights paled in the light of his knowledge. For those hours, the law lived.

After three days of conversation with this remarkable boy, his parents showed up in a panic. His mother reprimanded him for worrying them so. His response has never left me. He said to her, “Why are you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

I saw the impact of his words on his mother’s face. She knew. I began to wonder – His Father? Could he be? As He looked back, He walked away. I saw Him – MY SOUL SHOOK! Saul, Temple Rabbi

The Scripture tells us of many others who saw the Christ, recognized Him, and felt their souls shake – the magi, Anna, Simeon, Paul the Apostle, the centurion at the crucifixion, Cleopas on the road to Emmaus. Today, when we see Christ with spiritual eyes, recognize Him in our heart; sense His real presence – our souls shake!

Reflection – When did you feel your Soul Shake because you saw Christ?
Monica Boudreaux

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