Where’s the best place to spend Christmas?

I guess most of us would say: “at home”. Like Turkey and stuffing, Christmas and home go together. Even when we’re travelling at Christmas it’s often because we are going back to our parents’ homes. Whatever or wherever we call home, it’s just the best place to celebrate Christmas.

Home and family are really important at Christmas. That’s why homelessness seems such an offence, especially at this time of year. I rejoice in everything being done in Cornwall to help the homeless, not just at Christmas but all the year round, by organisations such as St Petroc’s Society. And what a wonderful thing Cornwall Hugs Grenfell has done, in giving holiday homes to those made homeless by that terrible fire.

Jesus, of course, became homeless that first Christmas. Because there was no room for Mary and Joseph at the inn, they had to lay their newborn son in a cattle feeding-trough instead.

Not long after, Jesus and his parents became refugees as they crossed into Egypt, moving ever further away from home in order to escape the genocidal rage of King Herod.

Jesus became homeless and a refugee. He shared those awful human experiences with us. But there’s something deeper going on here too.

The picture the Bible paints for us is of Jesus, the Son of God, leaving his home in heaven, at his Father’s side, to make his home with us, sharing our life and even our death.

Jesus is God coming to us, making his home with us, in a shape and form we can understand. As the explorer, Ranulph Fiennes, says: “My personal conception of God is of his Son, Jesus Christ, who, being an ordinary sort of bloke, is easy to picture in my mind.” Of course, he was also quite extraordinary. But he was ordinary too.

As one carol says: “tears and smiles like us he knew”.

Jesus is God in human form, in a shape and size we can all understand. Jesus is God coming to us, born as one of us. Jesus is God making his home with us. But why did he do that? He did it simply so we can be at home with him.

Home at its best is a place where we can be wholly ourselves, wholly at peace and know we are wholly loved.

Jesus left his home at the Father’s side and became homeless, in order to make his home with us. And he did all that so we can be at home with him. So this Christmas, and every day, he invites us, as his guests, to be wholly at home with him.