There is so much to love about Christmas, but one of the things I love best is simply seeing all the people. And some of the people I look forward to seeing most are those I only see this one time of year. Many of these are folks who are visiting from out of town. That they take the time to include us in those visits means the world to me.
Others are folks who only come to church once or twice a year. I am so glad they do. Lord knows, and He does, that it would be far easier for them simply to stay home. The season is certainly busy enough to provide ample excuses to do so. But they don't. They take the time. They make the effort. They make a Holy Night even holier by their presence with us, a night unlike any other night of the year.
But perhaps my favorite group of all are those who have been away from church for a long time. In my experience, people generally have good reasons for this. But though they gave up on the church, underneath it all they've never quite been able to give up on God, or to shake the sense that God hasn't given up on them. And so, when they are ready, they come home. What a joy that is!
Maybe that's you this Christmas. Maybe you've been away from church for awhile. Probably you have a good reason for that, one I'm sure not going to argue with. Maybe you wonder if anyone even missed you, and if they didn't, what's the point? Maybe you decided you don't believe, but deep down inside there is still an awareness that Something is out there greater than you are, you are wondering what to do with that, and you know something will always be missing until you do.
We've missed you. Believe me when I tell you every night there are names and faces of people I still think of, I still miss, I still long to see again. Won't you come home this Christmas?