” And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
I have always liked the arrangement of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” sung by Al Green. There is something about his high pitch, melodic vocals sung against this amazing groove. AL Green makes what is kind of a depressing song, very lively and fun and great to listen to around the holidays. I’ll Be Home for Christmas was originally written to honor soldiers overseas, who longed to return home. The lyrics are: ” I’ll be home for Christmas // You can count on me // Please have snow and mistletoe // And presents under the tree// Christmas Eve will find me // Where the love light beams // I’ll be home for Christmas // If only in my dreams.” The last line of the song is what I find most sad and depressing- if only in my dreams. The truth is, after sometime away, every one longs to return home. Home is where the heart is, right? I have lived in cities that have not been my home town for 10 years now, and it always brings my heart great cheer to return home for a while. There is something special about being around family, friends, and people who love you.
That not only is true physically, but it is also true spiritually. Our spirit, our innermost being desires to return home to our creator- to be near the one who loves us unconditionally. There is something inside every human being that desires a place of paradise. Why? Because at one point in our human history, our home was a paradise. Read Genesis 1 and 2. God prepared a garden, a place of paradise and told Adam to have dominion. Later, he gave him Eve to complete him. And they made a covenant with God to rule as suzerain vassals over all of God’s creation. Adam became the federal head of all mankind. Something happened, though, in between Genesis 2 and Genesis 4. Genesis 3, of course. We find in Genesis 3, the covenant between God and man was broken, thus throwing all of humanity into ruin. Because Adam was both a vassal and the federal head of mankind, when he sinned, he cursed not only mankind, but all of creation. “Once Adam goes, so goes the world.” Westminster Confession says it like this, “By this sin they fell from their original righteousness and communion, with God, and so became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all the parts and faculties of soul and body. They being the root of all mankind, the guilt of this sin was imputed; and the same death in sin, and corrupted nature, conveyed to all their posterity descending from them by ordinary generation. From this original corruption, whereby we are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil, do proceed all actual transgressions” (WCF IV.II – IV). Adam and Eve were forced to leave their home. There was now extreme distance between them and that place of paradise.
Christmas is a time where we reflect and celebrate the advent of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Most of you already know the story, but I want to briefly highlight some areas of significance. It was because of Christ’ incarnation-God coming in flesh- that mankind, Adam’s posterity, might return home and be at rest. This gap that was created by Adam’s sin (and our own sin) has been bridged by the second Adam. Jesus accomplished all that Adam failed. So unlike the song, we don’t have to dream about being home- we can and will experience home in a paradise prepared just for us. This is the hope of Christmas.