Christmas is a rare time for many families. It is one of the few times when we reach back to remember something of our roots. Most of us can get through many days without remembering where our parents or grandparents came from. We don’t have much cause to determine a person’s nationality these days, especially when the family has been here for several generations. Who knows or cares if your great-great-great grandfather was born in Germany? Unless you are a recent immigrant, it barely matters to anyone. And, chances are, you can’t even name your great-grandparents.
Then, at Christmas time, special things come out. Things that remind you of your family. Food that your friends don’t eat, but you have always had at Christmas. You may have a Christmas song or a tradition that brings your thinking back to something called, “home.” Certain smells and sounds and words bring back feelings of peace and warmth.
It isn’t this way for everyone of course. One of the saddest parts of our culture is our separation from our heritage and from the communities that formed us. And, of course, some are very grateful to be out of their dysfunctional or hurtful family culture. I am sorry for them because they have lost something they never really had.
I think that’s a part of why we are all drawn back to the simple old story of the birth of one who offered hope and love and healing. When Jesus came into the world, a light shined into our darkness. His promise is that not everything good is lost and all that is broken will be restored. In Him, life would return to our world. In Him, we may find our way home.