What are you getting from Christmas? (3 of 5)
When we focus on what we are getting for Christmas, we don't get anything from Christmas. Jesus birth allows us to get 5 things from Christmas. Beginning with freedom from performance and freedom from oppression, now we can add freedom from exile which Jesus gives us from Christmas.
Exile is the primal feeling that we are not at home or we are out of place. It the feeling when the man said, "Where am I? and How did I get here?"
Before the Exile of the children of Israel, when they were deported to Babylon, there understanding was that they had to be where God was - mainly in the Temple in Jerusalem. They sang, "How can we sing to God when he is not here - not here in godless Babylon."
After decades of Exile, they had a tremendous paradigm shift. No longer did they have to find God to be with Him, God was with them - wherever, whenever and however! Imagine that!! That is a huge shift in seeing how God operates. With the naming of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, God put a punctuation for us to remember. The baby was to be called Emmanuel - God with us!! That name, Emmanuel, hearkens back to another time God revealed his name to Moses - I am who I am. That verb name is the "to be" verb "is."
What does God call himself? Now!! His name is Now! The only place that we experience God is now!! God is present now!
So, when you feel that gnawing feeling of "homesickness," you are probably wallowing in the regret of the past or the anxiety of the future, when God is dispensing peace now. Stop. Slow down. Shut up. God is in you as you.