Wrap Yourself in Love

by Pam R. Selthun

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
1 John 4:16 | NIV

When Stu and I first moved to Scottsdale, we went “home” for Christmas the first year. Our second year was spent in China, where Christmas is solely a commercial operation. I can’t remember if we had a nativity scene or a tree for that matter. What mattered was the cultural significance of the holiday, and we tried to show our Chinese students and fellow teachers what it was all about without proselytizing, which would have been against the law. But how can you separate Christ from Christmas?

Stu was in denial then, eschewing Christianity and religion in general. He was reading about Taoism and Buddhism, and the spirituality of those Easter religions had an attraction which Christianity seemed to lack. Reaching Nirvana, the unattainable, and honoring all life intrigued me too, but I held fast to my beliefs, though they weren’t overt. I was young. We were newlyweds, and still learning how to navigate life as adults.

I see our daughter Elena now, like me, wading her way through murky waters, which sometimes clear enough for her to gain more clarity and help her grow. Those “ah-ha” moments represent another step up life’s ladder. We look forward to her coming home this year from her first few months at college. They told us she would be different. We’ll see.

Coming home means you can be yourself. You’re accepted and loved unconditionally. My parents have always been that way with me, and I hope Stu and I love our daughters in the same way.

After China, we may have traveled “home” for the holidays – the places our parents called home, not necessarily the ones where we had grown up. But because the decorations were familiar, the spaces seemed familiar too.

Jesus was born in a stable, far away from his parents’ home. His itinerant existence began early. I was born just as my father was finishing seminary and took my first trip to a new home when I was just six weeks old. Coming home is less about the physical place and more about the people you surround yourself with. Like a cozy blanket, you wrap yourself in their love. Coming home to Christ is like that. Wrap yourself up in his unconditional love.

Lord God, Heavenly King, Redeemer and Friend: Thank you for loving us and for your holy presence. Help us find a home in you and feel your love, peace, joy and hope for the world. Amen.

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