“Permanent Change of Station” or PCS is what we called it in the military when we were assigned to a new location. “Temporary Duty Assignment” or TDY is what we called it when we were only to be there for days or a few months. When TDY I sometimes stayed in a tent, an old WWII barracks and even a spare bunk in the bottom of a ship. We learned to ‘make do’ because it was just for a little while and then we would be back home. Home. That was where our family, friends, regular meals, car and all the things that made life more fulfilling were.
Being in war games out in the Mojave Desert many years ago, living out of a duffle bag at the end of my cot, I was thankful not to have too many things to try to keep up with because there wasn’t room for them. They would have gotten in the way of my job and besides all that the desert wasn’t my home assignment.
Christmas is about a permanent, PCS assignment. This world is a temporary, TDY assignment. Things didn’t start out that way. God set up the Garden of Eden to be a permanent place but then we messed that up. From that day to this our world has become a TDY assignment.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem to die and change all that. His death was the price for a PCS assignment out of this world where there would be no pain, suffering, sickness, poverty or death. For most of us Christmas is not the idealistic painting of a perfect life in a perfect family in a perfect village. For most of us, the celebrations are merely a pause, or not even that, along what can be a grueling journey of life. Thanks be to God that the Reason for the Season is that we now have a way out of this temporary assignment. When Christ returns or our body dies, our trust in Him brings with it orders for a Permanent Change of Station!