Fr Billy Swan
A phrase often heard in conversation at this time of year is ‘home for Christmas’. ‘Are you coming home for Christmas?’; ‘When will you be home for Christmas?’; ‘Unfortunately, I won’t be home for Christmas’; ‘See you at home for Christmas’; ‘Driving home for Christmas’ (song by Chris Rea). Despite new restrictions, millions of people will be on the move in the coming days on our roads, by rail, air and sea to do just that – to come home for Christmas.
The meaning of coming ‘home for Christmas’ is different for many. For many living abroad, it is the home of their parents, where they grew up. For others, it is where they are now living. For others still, home is where they are right now, in the absence of a house or a place to stay. For Christians, ‘Coming Home for Christmas’ means all the above but it also has a real spiritual significance too. It is a time to come home to God, to heal and renew our friendship with Him through the gift of the Christ child. In the Bible, being at home is a symbol of being at One with our God, of unity with his love, his purposes and truth. Jesus himself invites us to ‘make your home in me as I make mine in you’ (John 15:4).
This Christmas, we invite all our parishioners to ‘Come home for Christmas’ – to come back to God, to his friendship, his mercy and his hope through our Church community. We can do this together by celebrating the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist in particular but also by taking a full part in the Christmas services printed in this newsletter.
Don’t stay out in the cold any longer. Come home to God, to your true self and to the Church that misses you. Come home for Christmas.