19 December 2013

Christmas: Out of Our Comfort Zones

It's Christmas time, and things aren't familiar.

Being abroad means exiting your comfort zone, traveling far from home, spending the holidays surrounded by strangers who don't celebrate like you're used to--and sometimes it means feeling alone and weary.

But isn't that exactly what the first Christmas was like?

Mary and Joseph were displaced. They had traveled far, and they were weary. How alone they must've felt when reaching Bethlehem only to hear the words "no room." Their night in the stable was filled with unfamiliar smells, and the manger certainly wasn't an ideal cradle for the King of Kings.

But they were at home abroad because God was with them.


And Jesus Himself--wasn't He out of His comfort zone too?

For nine months, His earthly body had been forming. Now, He came into the world--fully human and fully God. It was transition enough to leave the vast glory of heaven to become a fetus, but then He opened His human eyes in that stable and saw the world He created from the perspective of a baby.



For the first time, He must have felt small. The animals towered over Him. The pieces of hay were as long as His little body. And holding Him in her caring arms was one of His children--now His mother.

This is what makes Christmas so joyous. God chose to come. And in coming, He left His home, His comfort zone, His familiarity. His birth precedes an influential life and a redeeming death; however, His coming is reason alone to rejoice and worship. His coming meant displacement, yet He did it for us. 

But even amidst all this change, Jesus was at home abroad because His Father was with Him.


So, dear friends, when you feel homesick this Christmas season, remember that you too can be at home abroad because God is with you.

Merry Christmas,






P.S. Following is a poem I wrote earlier this month:

How Lovely and How Lowly


How lovely and how lowly...
Creation His solely...
Holy.

Yet in compassion He donned
the pungent robe of outcast man
to be--gone
from home's perfection
to this world of misdirection,
to face bold and dark rejection.
His plan, still
a choice, of will
to leave heaven for earth,
to enshroud His worth,
to encapsulate the Word
in a single human voice
by birth--
human yet pure,
divine reduced to dust,
a must
for us:
our Cure.

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