When I was little, I built up Christmas in my mind

… and then I was always vaguely disappointed with the actual day.

It never lived up to all my childlike hype. The gifts were just stuff. The food was just food. The day came and went …

I often feel that same sense of disappointment now, as an adult

… but it is deeper, more real in a way.

I don’t often have words for it.

Until I read a Frederick Buechner sermon today.

He gave me words:

“… I believe that there are some things that by and large God is always saying to each of us.

All of us, for instance, carry around inside ourselves, I believe, a certain emptiness – a sense that something is missing, a restlessness, the deep feeling that somehow all is not right inside our skin.

Psychologists sometimes call it anxiety, theologians sometimes call it estrangement, but whatever you call it, I doubt that there are many who do not recognize the experience itself …

Part of the inner world of everyone is this sense of emptiness, unease, incompleteness, and I believe that this is in itself a word from God, that this is the sound God’s voice makes in a world that has explained him away.

In such a world, I suspect that maybe God speaks to us most clearly through his silence, his absence, so that we know him best through our missing him.”

If your Christmas feels a bit empty, if you can’t quite drum up the emotion the holiday deserves, if it all falls a bit flat and God seems quiet and far away

… consider that perhaps this emptiness you feel is actually the sound of God’s voice reminding you that you are not fully home yet.

He loves you. Your disappointment is simply spiritual homesickness …