Today’s episode is a bit different than our usual format so I’m offering a brief introduction to welcome you to it and give a bit of background.

Every year my church here in Greensboro creates one of my favorite offerings called Lessons and Carols. It’s a service of music; both original compositions and familiar favorites, as well as a collection of readings from scripture that tell the story of Jesus. This year it was told through the lens of home, both the one we have here and the one we continue to long for.

Advent is a season of waiting and this night of lessons and carols is a time to remember how God’s people waited many years for the Messiah, how he chose to make his home among us, and how we wait still for him to come again. 

This year, my friend and pastor Michael VanPatter asked if I would be willing to write a short piece to end the night, a reflection to close our time together. It was an honor, as a writer, to hold space for this idea of home, to listen for the ways my own longing mixes with my current reality and how joy and sorrow coexist for all of us.

That can be especially true at Christmas.

I wish I had the rights to broadcast the entire night right here on the podcast so you could hear how the creative image of God is so beautifully reflected in the music of some of my dearest friends at Hope Chapel. That would be my first choice.

Instead, I’ll settle for my second choice which is to simply share with you that piece I wrote to close the Lessons and Carols service. 

Whether you’re surrounded today by friends and family who know you well or if you find yourself in an unknown place this Christmas, I hope these words will bring a bit of comfort and clarity as you continue to honor the tension you may feel between being where you are and longing for a home you miss.

And Merry Christmas to you.

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emily p freeman I’m Emily and I’m glad you’re here! 

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