15 December, 2011

Home for Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas songs is, I’ll be home for Christmas

♪♫ I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me. Please have snow and mistletoe and presents on the tree. Christmas Eve will find me where the lovelight gleams; I’ll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams. ♫♪

Humming this tune for the last several weeks has brought to mind many people who will be traveling home for Christmas. Those who even now are planning and packing and anticipating the love and joy their arrival will create.

I remember the loneliness of long nights at the campus library wanting nothing more that to be home experiencing Christmas with my family. I remember the excitement of finals ending and being on the road headed home for Christmas break. My son is coming home for Christmas. I haven’t seen him since August so yes, I’m thrilled, nervous and anticipating all at the same time! I’m anticipating long talks, great laughs, and a celebration of the Saviour being born. A Saviour that heals broken hearts.

I wonder if Mary and Joseph hummed a tune as they traveled the long road from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Their anticipation was quite different than ours. They didn’t know what was ahead. Their journey was inconvenient, mandated by the law, a very difficult journey on foot (or riding on donkey) for a pregnant woman. Just imagine…..not so much humming, I’m thinking. But oh, the splendor they would encounter. Oh, the joy of that one night. The Saviour was on the way. A Saviour that paves the way.

I wonder about Lily…Lily with the big smile and sweet giggle…a friend who also has gone home for Christmas. I know she was anticipating the joy of going home, the joy of seeing her husband and son after many months. Her journey was difficult for it is a long plane ride from Tuscaloosa to China. She left today and arrives tomorrow – a really long journey. She returns to China with gifts and stories to tell. This visiting scholar returns with a newness for her profession and a newness of knowledge.

I remember one day in our English class when we were studying a writing from the Psalms. The Chinese students were practicing pronunciation and understanding of the text. Lily was shy at first and her English was very difficult to understand but she kept repeating a word. “Laud, Loll, Load, Lo”….finally, I understood….”Lord! Lord”! “Yes”, I said. Lily told me then that she had met Jesus. She knew Him. She had met the Saviour.

This Christmas will be different for Lily. This is the first Christmas that she knows her Saviour. This is the first Christmas she is anticipating a true celebration. She’s going home for Christmas to bring the Saviour to her family. She’s not filling a Christmas list of unnecessary items, I bet she’s humming a song celebrating and anticipating the Saviour’s birth.

I want to hum this song too.