When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
   we were like those who dream. 
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
   and our tongue with shouts of joy. (Psalm 126:1-2)

The favorite destination at Christmas is home. Many travel great distances at a difficult time of year to be among people with whom they experience the warmth of acceptance and the joy of belonging.

This longing for home beats deep in the human heart. It echoes our need to connect not only with family and friends, but with something … more.

The human heart hungers for an ultimate home, to rest in loving communion with God. Then and only then are we finally home, our hearts at rest and peace, filled with the joy that comes when we are know the immense love of God holding and filling us within.

Trouble is, we live most of our lives feeling far removed from this home. We are, in effect, exiles.

The reading today, Psalm 126, exclaims the joy of Jewish exiles returning home to Jerusalem after years in Babylonian exile. It is a good reading for Advent because this season is about making our way home … to the manager, where we see Mary cradling the infant Jesus. Standing in the circle of light around them, the warmth of God’s love radiates on and through us.

It is there that joy fills our being and our inner restlessness ceases, for we are home … in the Love who is always there … always waiting … always eager to welcome us.

So savor the longing you feel within. It will lead you to the Heart you have always wanted.

Pr. David L. Miller