Advent Calendar Day 15: I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore

One of the reasons I’m doing this project is to broaden my idea of what Christmas music is, and to maybe take the dozen or so of you reading this blog along for the ride.  This song’s here because Woodie Guthrie is awesome and because this is one of his best songs, and also because this is a song about Jesus.

Well, it’s mainly about Guthrie and his travels, and the Okies he traveled with, and by extension about any of us who’ve been lost, homeless, or wandering.  Without promising Heaven the way most of those old tent-meeting hymns would, this song fits into that same classic mold of “I’ll Fly Away” and “In the Sweet By and By,” telling about how this world is a temporary and harsh place where we’re not at home.  It tells the story of the folks on the road, lonely and dusty and welcome nowhere, in a world where the sharpsters profit by reaping what other men have sown.

Foxes have dens, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath no place to lay his head.

Jesus and his crew of backwater hicks could lay a claim to being the original Okies, a crew of migrant bumpkins walking aimlessly through an often desolate and inhospitable landscape, no home no job no peace no rest.  If I keep coming back to this point, it is because I believe it is central to understanding the Gospel.  Jesus was a homeless outsider, and he called his followers to leaves their homes and join him on the outside.

This world isn’t home to us.  We do have a home, as is promised, in the world that’s coming.  Our duty, in the meantime, is to walk the earth like Caine in Kung Fu, and to do our part to make this world more like that one.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

The Kingdom of God is within you.

See you on the road, pilgrim.

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