December 25, 2008

Going home for Christmas

This season seems to emphasize the stresses we feel in day to day life, when we naturally think it should have the opposite effect. The reason, as best I can reason it out, is that Christmas brings out in us a desire for family and home, and none of us are home.

The first family lost Eden and for millenia humanity has been homesick. Our Father in heaven has made a room for us, and the best we can do is call home in prayer. We can't be there yet, and somewhere in our souls we feel it.

After an accident, pain can be welcome evidence that you are still alive. After the Fall, that heartache and pain reminds us, more than ever during this time of year, that our souls are alive - are really there.

I will let G. K. Chesterton say the rest. Near the end of his book Orthodoxy, he writes:

"Just as I should seek in a desert for clean water, or toil at the North Pole to
make a comfortable fire, so I shall search the land of void and vision until I
find something fresh like water, and comforting like fire; until I find some
place in eternity, where I am literally at home. And there is only one such
place to be found."

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