Read Luke 2:1-20.
In recent years, I have learned to ask “what are the places that are home to you?” rather than “where are you from?” Some of my students moved around a lot as kids, some are from rural areas far from cities with recognizable names, and some grew up in places that they do not consider home. Their answers are thoughtful and diverse, and lead to story-sharing and authenticity. As a Christian working at a college, it is my role to make my campus feel like home for all of our community members. We look back at the places we call home –where we are from – in order to better understand who we are here, together, today. In our text this Christmas, everyone went to “their own city,” yet Joseph and Mary left their home in Nazareth to go to David’s city for registration. The places that are home to them are many: a tiny village, an ancestral city, each other’s arms. With the birth of Jesus, Christ the Lord, they discover and create a new home. This home welcomes shepherds smelling of sheep. This home reverberates with the refrain “peace on earth.” This home is wonderful, joyous news for all people. Bundled snugly with Jesus is a place they now call home. As it was home for them, may it also be so for us.
Jesus, child of Nazareth, Bethlehem, Mary, and Joseph, make your home in our hearts. May we find comfort bundled snugly with you, whether we are in a place we consider home or not. Help us to be home for one another, and bring joyous news of peace on earth. Amen.
Rev. Beatrix Weil
Chaplain, Rhodes College