Joel Byer - Husband; Father of Four; Pastor; Hockey Player
“I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me...I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” I’m sure most of us have heard those sentimental words song from the great Bing Crosby. Crosby sang that song in the midst of World War II, when soldiers understandably could not get home for the holidays.
For most of us, however, our reason for not getting home for the Christmas holiday season is somewhat less noble!
It’s too expensive (mainly because we’ve already maxed our credit cards). Uncle Frank will be there (no offence to all the Uncle Frank’s out there!).
In spite of all our excuses, anything worthwhile usually requires either A) Time, B) Effort, C) Money, or D) All of the above. While there is no Bible verse that specifically states, “Thou shalt be with thy family on Christmas Day”, there are general principles of honouring parents (Ex. 20:12) and taking care to not neglect our family (I Tim. 5:8). In John 19:26, as Jesus was on the cross, He clearly implies to His disciple John that he was to take care of Jesus’ mother Mary. Thus in vs. 27, we read, “....From that hour the disciple took her into his own household.” (NASB). Jesus was obviously concerned with the material and emotional well-being of His mother.
The fact of the matter is, when we come to the end of our lives, I don’t think any of us will look back and say, “If only I had spent a little less time with my family. It’s my only regret.” That is not likely!
So this Christmas, don’t make visiting family “only in your dreams”. I would rather eat a good Christmas meal than just dream about it, and your family would far rather you visit them, then just have you connect via a dream! So, no offence to Bing Crosby, but I’ll be home for Christmas...period!