Home

by The Rev. Dr. Jason L. Parkin

A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home:
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost-how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky's dome.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall people come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all people are at home.
G.K. Chesterton

"To the things that cannot be and that are." Is not this what we celebrate this holy season, this pregnant and poignant season of Advent, this blessed Christmas time? The wolf shall lie down with the lamb, we are told; swords shall be beaten into ploughshares; the heavens will be rent; and the Holy One of heaven comes to the lonely ones of earth.

What a rich and remarkable series of moments we have before us in these next weeks. The strident, shocking rasp of John the Baptist calling us to repentance and a new road. Gabriel, prince of angels, visiting a frightened teenager and telling her she is to carry heaven in her belly. A child, born in the middle of nowhere to parents who are nobodies, coming to turn the world upside down. Sages from distant lands paying homage to this squalling, mewling infant. And why? So that, in the very place where God was homeless, we can and may find our true home, our native land, the life and reality for which we were created.

This is a time of beginnings. The sacred year started afresh on November 27, and the secular year starts afresh on January 1. The sun, mere days before The Birth, turns around and begins its own renewal. The arrival of the wise men brings with it a sense that everything is changed; that all is being remade; that everything is new; and that things which cannot be, in fact, are.

Come, Holy Child. Make your home in our hearts, that we might find ourselves at home in you.