Monday 14 January 2019

Where do you live?

In the Western tradition, Christmas and carols are like identical twins. I guess that there will be a lot of discussions if we were to agree on which Christmas carol is the most important. Around the world, Carol-services and Christmas concerts still attract a lot of people. Also in my home-country I am frequently asked to share some Christmas thoughts on such events. It is already a couple of years since I took part in a Carol festival at our local church in a small village in Norway. In the last concert I jokingly said that I had always missed the most important Christmas song in the repertoire of the excellent local singers.

Then I burst into singing some bars from a Norwegian Christmas-tree dance with a very shallow content. It is about coming from ‘clapping land’, ‘hobbling land’, ‘dancing land’ and so on. 
However, the ‘silly’ song repeats the question “Where then, do you live?” over and over again.

So even though the song may not be the most important Christmas carol, I think it raises the most important question.

When John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and said: “Look, the Lamb of God!", two of his disciples immediately followed Jesus. When Jesus discovered his followers, he asked: “What do you want?” They answered with a question: "Where do you live?" (John 1:38)

For a long time, I thought that this was a meaningless question to ask. However, that was before I understood how John had composed his gospel. The question "Where do you live?" is far deeper than a mere reference to a physical residence. It is about where you have your roots. It is about where your values are. The Christmas mystery is all about coming home to where you belong. Because Jesus came and said and still says: “Come and see!”

One evening almost 50 years ago, Jesus saw that I was following him from a long distance, and when he said: “Come and see!” - I came and found my roots. From that moment I knew where I belong. I had come home. The miracle is that I am home in Him and He is home in me. 

That also make me part of the Christmas miracle, because it is about God becoming man through me. Every born again believer is part of Christ’s body in the world today. The most important Christmas-question is therefore:
“Where do you live?”

Published in the Russian War Cry - Вестник спасения - issue #1 2019 - PDF

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