December 30

December 30, 2020
by: Gabriel Tseng
“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.- 1 Peter‬ ‭2:11

Change is coming and has always been. The New Year brings a nostalgic remembering of things past and things to come, and only backwards do we seem to have hindsight. This coming year we can truly say it’s 2020.

Some can’t wait for this year to be over. Some are having a hard time letting go of this year. Others yet, don’t know how to feel or what to think about it. There’s many reasons why this year can be memorable, forgettable, and complicated. I am always nostalgic as I think about time and the amount of moving around I did growing up. I’ve always yearned in some ways for a home, or had moments where I thought about whom my best friends were, and wondered about the shifting sands of time and how they slip through my hands the more I clutch at the moments. I can obfuscate, ignore, and even avoid this feeling for long stretches, but the reality remains: I don’t feel at home. 

When God becomes Immanuel and makes His home with us, He redefined home as where He is and how He made His home with us. His very presence on the journey (exodus) in the fire to warm them by night and the cloud to shade them by day was a constant reminder that although God’s people were wandering, they were not lost, and that God was with them. They were at home, not in a land, but where God was. They longed for that promised land, they longed for that ideal. Having it out of reach reminds me, I am not made for this world, I am a citizen of another. We are all pilgrims on this journey. Some are literal foreigners in citizenship and nationality, and yet, the spiritual reality, and the growing reality as we look at the culture and world around us is, that we are a people who are citizens and family of a different kingdom, not of us this world. Our wandering, my disappointment, is strangely encouraging to remind me to hold loosely and put less trust in the things that are temporary in money, power, approval, and even more difficult, my definitions of home and relationships. 

It is also right to cling to those who are on this journey together, as fellow sojourners of a different land, yearning for home. We are reminded in our longing and our disappointment, that what we truly long for is the God who made His home with us. We yet see imperfectly as in a mirror, but one day, we will see clearly. But until then, His people, as imperfect as we are, are the closest picture of what family and home is. 

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