Few words better capture the emotion and the attraction of Christmas than home. The simply lyrics form the song, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”—originally written from the perspective of World War II soldiers—instantly inspire longing for that place in our memories (or in our dreams) where the warmth of family and the joys of the year’s most wonderful time of year come together.
The reason home has such universal appeal is simple. Home is the primary place where we are known and loved. There are no sweeter words than those you utter at the end of a long journey, especially at Christmastime: “I’m finally home.”
Yet for all its warmth and familiarity, there can be something disconcerting about home, and it’s not just the heated discussions that sometimes erupt, or the cruel words that occasionally slip out not long after we arrive. For all the charms and joys of home, something isn’t quite right. There’s a flaw that none of us have ever been able to fix. No matter how beautiful it is to go home, it’s never a place where we feel completely settled or at rest.
You know how it is when you go home after being away for a while. No sooner have you arrived than you get a desire to go somewhere else. Maybe you have a sudden urge to see some of the old “haunts” or visit some friends you haven’t seen in a while. It’s fun catching up at first, but eventually you realize the old saying, “You can’t go home again,” rings true. As wonderful as home is, you don’t live there anymore. You can enjoy it for a time, but your heart’s not in it.The reason for this is simple. There’s something about the human heart that will never be at peace or at rest in any home on earth. C.S. Lewis said it best when he wrote:
This is not something to worry about. Just because you realize that “this world” will never by your true home doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the blessings God has given you. A family that knows you and loves you, and a home—even though temporary—can fill you with joy.
At the same time, be thankful that there is a final and truly ideal home in your future, where you will be completely loved and perfectly known. That’s when you will truly be able to say, “I’m finally home.”