I'll Be Home For Christmas
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” was written by Kim Gannon and Walter Kent in honor of soldiers overseas who longed to be home at Christmas but no one wanted to record it. With so many soldiers fighting in World War II, music executives felt it was too sad for families during the most joyous time of year. Bing Crosby recorded the song as the B-side to his hit, “White Christmas”. Instead of it being too sad, it filled the soldiers with hope. When he played a holiday show for the troops, this was the most requested song. “I’ll be home for Christmas, You can plan on me. Please have snow and mistletoe And presents by the tree. Christmas eve will find me where the love light gleams. I’ll be home for Christmas, If only in my dreams.”
I thought of how different this Christmas is for so many people. Many of us are not getting together with the large group of family and friends. Many people will be alone this Christmas. So many people have lost loved ones this year. I want to be filled with Christmas joy right now but sometimes that is hard. To have peace and joy we must focus on God. Peace that only God can give. Philippians 4: 6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Those families and soldiers were experiencing tough, uncertain times. They, too, were looking for hope. These hard times, no matter what year or century, are sure to make us re evaluate and re prioritize what is most valuable in our lives.
This song really made me think about “home”. You know the sayings, “home is where the heart is” or “home is where your Mama is”. I think those are true. Home is not a physical address. But, really, where is home? According to Webster, our home is where we reside, it’s our place of origin, our familiar setting. 1 Peter 2: 11 says our home is not in this world. “Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” In Ecclesiastes 12: 5, Solomon said, “Then people go to their eternal home and mourners go about the streets.” He knew that God’s children’s forever home would go be with their Lord and Savior. Many of our loved ones now live in their forever home. We miss them terribly and things will never be the same, but, I would not call my Dad back here for anything! Dad, like your loved ones, are in their forever celebration, experiencing a joy we cannot imagine. He is home for Christmas and all eternity!
What a day of rejoicing it will be when we are all together again! John 14: 23, “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 14: 2-3, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” Where is “home” this Christmas? It is captured in a name. Emmanuel. Matthew 1: 23, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Think about Mary and Joseph and how far from home they were on that first Christmas. Nothing was familiar, they were tired from traveling so far and Mary was about to give birth. Then there was nowhere for them except a cave where animals were kept. Their baby lay in a feeding trough for animals. But that stable was turned into their Christmas home! Jesus made the difference! Angels, shepherds, the three wise men, all, rejoiced! Later Jesus would have to leave His heavenly home and come to earth to live and die, for our sins, so we can have an eternal home with Him. Christmas means celebrating Jesus, so where He is, we can celebrate Him. If He is living in us, we are home! Romans 15: 13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Merry Christmas!