Dead leaves cling to my trees though December wind pulls and tugs. Gray clouds hover close, hiding the cheering sun I’m so wanting to see. Some of the neighbors have pierced the dreariness with colored lights and holly wreaths on doors ready for the Christmas season.
How welcome the warmth and lights of home to draw us in out of the cold. Hearts beat eager and step over the threshold into a place where we feel we belong. Ah-hh, home! We come home at Christmas. We shake off the prodigal-proud independence, pierced with knowing that spending life on our own terms did not bring life to us as we thought it would.
Father welcomes each of us home, to live again, beloved, just as before we strayed and went our own way. Years I wandered, wasted on self-driven effort and wishes for life according to my will. But I have come home to You, my true Home.
Tonight several of our adult children come for lasagna and fellowship with each other and God. These prodigals too with a road of anguish and bitter heartbreak behind them come bravely ahead, come home. O come, blessed Holy Spirit!
It’s Eden essentials that we are really longing for—to find joy and meaning in our work and relationships, connect heart-true with ourselves, God and others, to enjoy our food and drink gratefully, to rest in knowing that God is here in this place and so, all is well, whatever troubles plague us.
This Christmas season may we open our lives, hearts, homes to the prodigals making their way home, one step at a time, one moment at a time. Let us receive unfailing love that we ourselves desperately need and then pour it out lavishly on others all around us. Someone with a mask for their pains may soften and surrender any moment to Grace. It may be your neighbor, your son’s co-worker, your sister who seems to have no needs. A prodigal heart may be firmly lodged behind the eyes of the person sitting across the table from you at supper time. Love with all you are, and watch wonders unfurl.
“My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.” –The Message, James 5