Advent is a season of waiting for the coming of Christ. Last week in my post Stable, Inn or Welcoming Home – Where Was Jesus Born and What Does It Matter? I talked about the first coming for which we wait, the remembrance of Jesus coming in the flesh, an infant whose birth captivates our hearts yet makes few, if any demands on our souls.
The second coming to which Advent calls our attention is the coming of the presence of God which makes Jesus present in our own lives today. Once more I wonder if we have relegated his existence to a stable rather than inviting him to share our homes. Are our hearts truly open to the coming of Christ to the full extent that he wants them to be? Are we willing to invite him into the innermost places of our lives where our broken, selfish natures reside recognizing our deep, deep need of his compassion, healing and forgiveness? Are we willing to surrender these places to his love so that they can be transformed and he can feel comfortable living there.
A couple of days ago, my scripture readings included the letter from Jude to the early church. It is possible that this letter was written by one of Jesus’ brothers. It is probable however that Jude did not come to believe in Jesus as the Son of God until after Jesus rose from the dead. If this is the case, Jude grew up residing in the same home as Jesus but did not allow Jesus to find a home in his heart and life until he recognized who Jesus really was. However once Jude invited Jesus into his heart, his life purpose was totally transformed. He opens his letter with the words: Kindness, peace and love – may they never stop blooming in you and from you. (Jude 2 the Voice)
Inviting Jesus to make his home in our hearts means we too need to truly recognize who Jesus is, trust his design for our lives and commit passionately and totally to his purposes for us. We need to allow his abiding presence to completely transform our lives so that we love what he loves and commit our time, resources and talents to what he wants to see happen in the world. Allowing Jesus to take up residence in our hearts is more then a cursory acknowledgement of his lordship and a prayer for him to respond to our words of repentance. Justice, healing, peace, freedom from oppression, concern for the poor and the marginalized, love, kindness and generosity. These are just some of the fruit of a heart in which Jesus has taken up residence.
As we enter this second week of Advent I ask you to take time to consider how much of your heart you allow Jesus to reside in. Are there rooms marked private Jesus keep out? Set aside time to rethink your priorities. How much of your time and resource is committed to Jesus’ passions for justice, healing and liberation? How much of it revolves around deepening your relationship to God? When you get busy is prayer the first thing you jettison?
How does your commitment to Jesus alter the way you use your time, talent and resources? More than at any other season of the year the pressures of the secular culture drag us away from God’s purposes. Times of reflection and renewal are marginalized by the lure of the malls and parties. Quasi religious rituals of spending and consuming take over.
So I challenge you from the life of Jude. May you refocus your life so that Jesus can indeed feel at home in your heart.
Now to the One who can keep you upright and plant you firmly in his presence – clean unmarked and joyful in the light of his glory – to the one and only God, our Saviour, through Jesus the Anointed our Lord, be glory and greatness and might and authority; just as it has been since before he created time, mat it continue now and into eternity. Amen (Jude 24-25 The Voice)
This post is also a contribution to the synchroblog Coming Home. Here are the links of other bloggers writing on this theme. Christine Sine – Is There Room for Jesus to Find a Home In Your Heart?
- Jeremy Myers – It Sounds Like Christmas
- Nathan Kitchen – Coming Home
- Michelle at Moments with Michelle – Home
- Mallory Pickering – I’m Kind of Homesick
- Bobi Ann Allen – Coming Home
- J.A. Carter – Going Home
- Glenn Hager – Where the Adventure Begins
- Marta Layton – Can You Ever Come Home Again?
- Peggy at Abisomeone – Abi Has Finally Come Home For Christmas
- Amy Hetland – Coming Home
- Coffeesnob – Home
- Carol Kuniholm – Advent Three: Redefining Home
- Liz Dyer – Advent 2013 The Way Home
- Harriet Long – The Body and the Sacred: Coming Home
- Edwin Pastor Fedex Aldrich – Who I Was Made to Be
- Emkay Anderson – Homemaking
- Anita Coleman – At Home in the Kingdom of God
- Kathy Escobar – Mobile Homes (Not That Kind)
- Jennifer Clark Tinker – My Itinerant Home
- Doreen Mannion – Heart is Where the Home is