“because there was no place for them in the inn.” — Luke 2:7
For many of us Christmas meant coming home. When I was a boy, my mother and her sisters along with their husbands and children would head to Memphis for Christmas to be with Grandfather and Grandmother Erwin. When I was in college and until I was married, I came home for Christmas no matter where I was. We were always fortunate. There was always a home to come home to, presents under a tree, and a wonderful meal, or two, or three. I think for most of the readers of the Pew we have always had a home, or a place we can call home. My Dad used to tell stories about if he didn’t make it home by a certain time at night, he had to sleep on the porch, but there was always a home porch to sleep on.
Last night Suzy and I and a group of friends heard a very compelling overview of the homeless situation in Charlotte and Charlotte Urban Ministries, after listening we’re all ready to help! Here in Charlotte, as it is all over the country, homelessness is a major problem, and especially during Advent we should not forget the words, “there was no place for them in the inn.”
I mentioned giving to strangers yesterday. Consider in Advent remembering the homeless in your prayers and your generosity. When you buy those last minute stocking stuffers, consider buying a warm pair of socks and delivering them to your cities equivalent of Urban Ministries. When you give out envelopes to your mail carrier and hairdresser, consider a small donation. Most importantly as your heart grows and grows in this time of joy and celebration, consider reserving a small “place” in your heart for a man, woman, or child who sleeps in the cold on Christmas night.
Y’all know I get sappy watching Christmas movies. One of my favorites is the “Bishop’s wife” and I can’t hold back the water when at the very end of the movie the Bishop giving the sermon comes to the part where he reminds us to hang a stocking for the Christ child. I always put on my Christmas list — comfortable socks. From now on they go to Urban Ministries.