COME HOME

December 3 :: December 10 :: December 17 :: December 24
Traditional Worship in the Chapel at 8:00 AM
Sunday School at 9:15 AM
Combined Open Skies and Traditional Worship in the Sanctaury at 10:30 AM

I remember December 1, 2013 like it was yesterday. It was the First Sunday in Advent, my first Sunday at First United Methodist Church Missouri City and my birthday. Our theme for that Advent was simple: Come Home. For me, there is something about the Christmas season that makes me think of home. And if you promise not to tell anyone, I will let you in on a little secret. I am a sentimental soul when it comes to home and Christmas. 

I have been known to get choked up when I hear I’ll be Home for Christmas or Please Come Home for Christmas. And let’s not even talk about the Folger’s commercial when Peter makes it home or the Hallmark commercial when Tommy joins his brother in singing O Holy Night. For some of us, home evokes wonderful memories, while for others the memories it stirs up are not so wonderful. I guess there is always the home we long for and then there is the home we have. 

Perhaps Dietrich Bonhoeffer gives the best explanation I know of as to why Christmas brings to mind thoughts and memories of home. In a Christmas sermon he preached on December 2, 1928, Bonhoeffer shared this thought: “When once again Christmas comes and we hear the familiar carols and sing the Christmas hymns, something happens to us… A kind of homesickness comes over us for past times, distant places, and yes, a blessed longing for a world without violence or hardness of heart. But there is something more—a longing for the safe lodging of the everlasting Father.” 

I have been thinking a lot about home the past few weeks; so much that I asked Matt Robinson if we could change our planned Advent sermon series 3 More Words, and use the theme we used in 2013, Come Home. You see, it seems that our society has lost the sense of home. When we respond to the ones who are different than us with fear or hate or anger, we have lost our sense of home. When we turn our backs on those who are on the margins, we have lost our sense of home. When we are consumed more with stuff and success than relationships and community, we have lost our sense of home. And I believe that when we lose our sense of home, we become people without hope. 

For me, home is a place where I find safety and security. It is where I find my identity. And it starts by believing that I am part of community. But most of all, home is like Robert Frost describes it: the place where, when you go there, they have to let you in. 

I hope this Christmas you will Come Home and join us in a place of love, grace and community.

- Rev. Marty Vershel