When something hits close to home, it affects us deeply. The stories and scriptures of Advent are tender, heavy with emotion, and vulnerable. We hold the memories and truths of this season close to our hearts. Close to Home acknowledges that Emmanuel is with us, and yet, God’s promised day—our everlasting home—is not fully realized. We long for God to come close.

 

The Advent and Christmas scriptures are rich with home metaphors and imagery. John the Baptist prophesies about the One who is to come, but reminds us that we are still wandering far from God’s promised day; his message hits close to home, especially for those experiencing inequity and oppression. After receiving the angel’s news, Mary retreats to Elizabeth’s home, seeking refuge and safety. Christ is born in the midst of a journey home, in a crowded dwelling space amidst livestock and shepherds alike. The Magi travel far from home to pay homage to Christ, and, having been warned in a dream, they avoid Herod by traveling home another way. In these scriptures, home is both physical and metaphorical, something we seek and something we are called to build. Ultimately, God is our home and resting place. God draws near and makes a home on earth—sacred ground is all around us.

 

This Advent, may we be comforted by the One who dwells intimately with us. May we expand safety and sanctuary for everyone wandering far from home. May we come home—wherever home is found—to live fully with joy, hope, and courage.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Close to Home” print devotionals are available at church, or click on the image at right to download