Our texts for Sunday, the Second Sunday of Advent, are from Psalm 85 (verses 1-2 and 8-13) and Isaiah chapter 9 (verses 2-7). The description of what it looks like for God's glory to dwell in our land is truly lovely.
Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet, Righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
That sounds even better than the best of Facebook family photos, Hallmark Christmas cards, or Lifetime Christmas movies. And all too often, it isn't exactly what it feels like at Christmas. All too often our Christmas family gatherings have a lot of energy directed around preventing someone from getting their feelings hurt, making sure that feuding family members aren't sitting next to each other at the tab le, and that there are presents and dinner favorites that include everyone. And yes, squabbling is a part of the family gathering -- sometimes among the children. There's often at least once when we look for a sympathetic face so we can roll our eyes and experience sympathy. (If your family gathering is perfect, please don't tell me, just post it on Facebook.)
And yet, we gather. Home is where we gather -- even with our imperfect relationships, disagreements over what to serve, old grudges and new loves. It all, we all, come home for Christmas because it is safe to do so. We make or find a new home when the old ones aren't safe -- and then that becomes home. We define it as we need to. And steadfast love helps. May God bless all those who love in stubborn ways, so that we can meet at home. May we all experience home this Christmas.