Christmas music is a huge part of my holiday experience. I have been singing in choirs since I was eight years old. I don’t have a solo voice, but I can hold my own in a chorus. Last night, I joined about fifty others and a small orchestra to perform the beloved holiday classic, Handel’s Messiah. Being surrounded by so many strong voices, at my spot smack in the middle of the choir, was like having God’s almighty arms wrapped around me in love and protection. I was home, in His embrace.
Every December, then, is a homecoming for me, when the radio starts playing the Christmas tunes. And I have a literal homecoming each year when I fly halfway across the U.S. to visit family up north. Homecomings are sweet — full of good memories of places, people and experiences.
It’s quite a contrast to what I see every day working with Food for the Hungry (FH). Yesterday, I talked with a leader from Food for the Hungry Bangladesh, about people who lost their homes in flooding several weeks ago. Not only did they lose their homes and livestock; the very land that they lived on doesn’t exist anymore. The powerful Jamuna River, which channels water from India’s Brahmaputra River into the Bay of Bengal, burst its banks and ate their land. Massive tons of raging water ripped the soil from the river banks. They can’t go home again, ever. And that’s just one of many disasters that have occurred worldwide recently.
Keep in your prayers this season those who miss home but can’t go back — the refugees who have left their country; the homeless; those displaced by violence or disaster; those living with broken relationships that prevent a sweet homecoming.