What Makes A Home

“And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

Luke 2:12  

Imagine learning that your favorite actor or actress, or professional sports personality was born in your home and your bed was now located on the very spot where they entered this world. Do you think the price of your house would go up? Most likely to you it would. Proof again the real value in life is people not things. Keep that in mind this Christmas.
“There is no place like home” the old saying goes. That can be good or bad depending on who you talk to. How about, “Home is where your heart is.” Most people have heard, read or said that at one time or another. Have you ever really thought about what makes a home? Coming to the end of a long home improvement project ourselves that started four months ago to this very day (August 24) I have thought long and hard about what makes a house a home, especially in this month of December as I consider the events that took place that first Christmas morning when the Virgin Mary gave birth to her first born son, Jesus the Christ and how his birth changed a lowly stable into one of the most visited sites on earth.

How is it that a place that was most likely an outcropping of rocks with a small cave that served to shelter Mary and Joseph while she gave birth to the baby Jesus so significant in world history that tourists, especially Christians will travel all around the world to get to this spot in Bethlehem for Christmas. In a word, love. A love for God, a love for His Only Begotten Son, a love for the gift of salvation and an opportunity to come and express our own love in worship and adoration. Love will draw people, millions from around the world to either visit personally or watch a televised service from the church of the nativity on Christmas Eve that now sits upon the proposed site in the still small town of Bethlehem.

I have had the pleasure of visiting this site in group tours and on my own. I have seen it filled to capacity with thousands of visitors forming a single file line waiting hours to come to the what many believe is the exact spot where God became a man when He took on human flesh in the form of the baby Jesus. I have visited the spot when I was the only person there due to the hostility between the jewish and Arab peoples and could sit a long time at the spot and pray and ponder the heart of our Heavenly Father.

Every time I walk away I am struck with the understanding that without Jesus nothing in Israel holds much of any value at all and surely would not be the tourist capital of the Middle East today if it were not for the fact that Jesus Christ was born there. Jesus is not just the reason for the season, He is the reason there are any seasons at all. At least that is what Colossians 1 reminds us. Jesus changes everything and that is important for each of us to remember at Christmas. It’s like everything Jesus touches turns to Christmas, it comes alive. He brings life to everything, He brings love and joy and peace. He brings celebration and a reason for being in any situation or circumstance we face in life. Because of Jesus all the earth sings and shouts the glory of His praise.

If Jesus could turn a stable or a manger into a place of worship, His birth place becoming one of the largest tourist spots on the planet (not by His design or desire) just imagine what He can do to each of our lowly estates, the place we call home when he comes in person by personal invitation. Like I shared above, my wife and I just spent our life savings (with the help of our bank) on remodeling our kitchen and the value of our home to me didn’t change one bit and I knew that would be the case even before I started. What turned our house into a home wasn’t new appliances or counter tops, a new sink or cabinets. It wasn’t all the new lights we installed or even the awesome brick wall, thank you. Not even a fresh coat of paint could do the trick. All it took for our house to become a home was for my wife to walk through the front door, seriously.

For me, home will always be wherever she is at. It could be here in this house, a tent, an apartment or even an outcropping of rocks with a small cave if need be. Love is what makes a house a home. Not stuff, but people. Love is what gave significance to the spot where Jesus Christ was born for love itself had come down from heaven to earth in human form. The message of Christmas isn’t capitalism. Buying gifts and exchanging them won’t provide the lasting love that a relationship with Jesus Christ can and does. Inviting Jesus into your home this holiday will make all the difference in the world. Make Christmas about Christ again and everything you do will become glorious this year.

Give gifts in Jesus name, offer God’s amazing one sided agape love to everyone you know and watch heart and souls light up. Sing songs of His praise in your home and feel the joy of Christmas as you worship the King of Kings. Christmas time is truly the most wonderful time of the year when Jesus is in His rightful place, at the center of our attention. Jesus truly is the gift that keeps on giving year after year. Christmas isn’t about what we have but who we have that matters most. The best Christmas memories are the ones we share with the ones we love. Love your families, love your friends, love your enemies if possible but in the end love God first and most of all for then the real joy of Christmas will be yours, once and for all.  

“You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands. How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good they are! I praise the Lord, because he guides me, and in the night my conscience warns me. I am always aware of the Lord's presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me. And so I am thankful and glad, and I feel completely secure, because you protect me from the power of death. I have served you faithfully, and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead. You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever.”

Psalm 16:5-11 (GNT)


Michael Osthimer





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