On Christmas Eve, something like 2000 young South Australians will be sleeping rough or without regular housing.
Many of these young homeless are school age and even if they have a roof over their heads they do not have the love and comfort of a home.
Some of them will be “couch surfing”. Others will be sleeping out in the open on a park bench.
These homeless young people are the face of a concerning social reality. Over the past decade the numbers of young South Australians in out of home care has doubled.
For our young people to have any chance in life they need the security, support and care that comes with having a place that feels like a home.
Just like these young people, Mary of Nazareth was a teenager when she came to Bethlehem with Joseph. She was newly married, pregnant and without anywhere to stay. After a desperate search, she and Joseph sheltered in a cattle shed and it was there that the child Jesus was born.
Jesus Christ was born into the stable of human homelessness.
St John was to later write: “He came to his own home and his own people did not receive him”.
At Christmas we are reminded that God shares our most vulnerable moments; even our insecurity and homelessness.
With so many children and families forced to sleep in lounges, dining rooms or kitchens every night, this Christmas calls us to insist that no person is without the care and security that turns a bed and a roof into a home.
Together, we can ensure South Australia is a place where no young person looking for a bed and support is ever turned away.
What a great Christmas gift that would be.