“Sir, are small arms fire or IEDs a part of the plan for today’s mission?” someone said jokingly.  It was zero dark thirty a few days before Christmas as we prepared for a routine patrol in the vicinity of Samarra, Iraq. A soldier’s Ipod inaudibly played carols while my driver, gunner, and I were finishing up our pre-combat checklist. 

Recorded in 1943 by Bing Crosby, I’ll Be Home for Christmas was written to honor soldiers overseas who longed to be home at Christmastime. To me the song sounds like a WWII soldier’s letter requesting his family to prepare for his return, however it ends on a melancholy note:

Christmas Eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams

According to Webster, our home is where we reside, a familiar setting, or our place of origin. However, in 2 Corinthians 5:1, Paul writes, “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 

I can’t hear I’ll Be Home for Christmas without thinking of our home with Jesus in Heaven or the brave, selfless men and women serving overseas to protect the freedoms we all enjoy. Please pray for our members serving in the military:

Cpt. Christopher McKee Dixon, 1st Lt. Mitchell Galloway, Lt. Jared Clifford, LCDR Jarrett Pender Dunn, Cpt. Andrew William Ellis, Maj. Benjamin Kilgore Hassell, Petty Officer Cristin Danielle Henson, Petty Officer Philip Joel Henson, Lt. Laura Palmer, Lt. Col. John Sarno, Maj. Stephen Shaw, Petty Officer Taylor Glenn Sizemore, Maj. Jim Duncan Steven, PV2 Robert Thornton, Petty Officer Marshall Wade

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long. Psalm 23:6

Brandt Goodwin

About the Contributor

Brandt Goodwin is married to Amy and they have one daughter, Ellis (4), and another child on the way! He has been a member of FPC for over 20 years and is currently finishing up his first term as Elder.