He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. ~ John 1:10 (NLT)
There is nothing quite like a homecoming when I’ve been away for extended periods of time. I know the work is important, but I really do miss my family while I’m away. I didn’t get married and have kids to spend time away from them. I want them in my life. When my kids were younger, one of the special moments was when I would return home from being away. Generally, when I came in the door, laden with luggage, I’d announce “I’m home!” and suddenly there were smiling faces to greet me. I get hugs from the kids, and a kiss from my wife. Most of the time the dogs even came to greet me. It’s a reunion, and it feels really nice.
God has built a longing for family into each one of us. We want to feel like we belong. We want to feel loved, supported, accepted. We want to be greeted by warm smiles and fuzzy feelings. It’s a longing that God, Himself, understands. You see, we are created in His image; which means that He too has a longing for family.
Imagine nearly 2,000 years ago, as God and Jesus were finalizing plans for Jesus to come down to the earth, the anticipation of being reunited with family members who had been apart from Him for far too long, was growing. Jesus would come down to them to restore the family of God. He was returning to the world He created to reunite us with Him.
Yet, the homecoming wasn’t so sweet. As our verse today states, “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him.” There were very few warm smiles to greet Jesus upon His entry to this world – save that of His earthy parents, the wise men, and the shepherds. In fact, the first official act of the Jewish king was to try and have Jesus murdered! This was definitely not the grand entrance worthy of our God, our Creator, our true King! His adult life wasn’t much better. Yes, more people did begin to recognize Jesus as their Messiah and greet Him warmly. But, the vast majority chose to reject Him, rather than love Him. So, here’s a couple of gut-check questions for each of us: When given the opportunity each day to welcome Jesus into your life, do you welcome Him with a smile, warm hug, and quality time? Or, as He knocks on the door of your heart, do you choose not to open it because the timing is inconvenient? Does He receive the homecoming that He deserves?