I get to come home from work every night to a warm, comfortable house. The kids are playing nicely or doing homework, dinner is cooking and the dog’s tail is wagging.
Okay, that may be a touch idealistic, but the house is definitely warm and comfortable, and the kids and dog are definitely there.
Even if things are hairy when I walk in the door after taking a deep breath, our home is a safe place, a haven where we can feel like everything is okay even when outside, the wind is blowing, circumstances are difficult and a storm is brewing.
When Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph didn’t have that haven. They had to travel for the birth, they were stuck in a stable and later, to make matters worse, an angel warned them in a dream that they were being hunted, so they had to flee by night to Egypt.
It’s tough to take an infant or a toddler just to the grocery store – imagine fleeing for your life to a foreign country, far from anything you’ve ever known, far from home.
Once the danger had passed and they returned, the family settled in Nazareth, where they built a life and a home, complete with other brothers and sisters, hard work and all the elements of a normal Jewish childhood.
Jesus must have been grateful for the warmth and familiarity of his home with Mary and Joseph, yet once he began his public ministry, he was essentially homeless. This earth was always a temporary dwelling place for him anyway, until he could return to his rightful home in the heavens above.
Our homes are wonderful, but like Jesus’ sojourn here, they are also temporary and they point to our eternal home with the One who came to give us that home.