World War II was raging overseas. Thousands of Americans were separated from their loved ones, alone on foreign, hostile soil. This was difficult to bear but as the holidays drew near, it was especially hard. Thinking of these men and women as well as all of the others who could not spend Christmas with their loved ones, Kim Gannon wrote the words to the song recorded soon after by Bing Crosby: "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Not only did this sentimental song raise morale among the troops during World War II, it has since become the encapsulation of everyone's desires to spend Christmas with the ones they love. In fact, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was the first requested song beamed into outer space when the crew of Gemini 7 asked for it as they were hurtling to earth after completing 206 orbits in December of 1965.
Why is it that people long to spend Christmas with their families? Could it be because, in its very DNA, Christmas is about spending time with loved ones? In the book of Matthew we read, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23). It only makes sense that the holiday devoted to celebrating the birth of the One who came to be with us should conjure up feelings of desire to be with the ones we love. Jesus came the first time because He could not imagine spending eternity without you. Won't you strengthen your relationship with Him so you'll be ready for Him when He comes back to finally take us home?
Longing to go home,