Put Out the Welcome Mat!

Otto Herschel, Wikipedia Commons Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

Otto Herschel, Wikipedia Commons
Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse-Rabbi Reading the Torah

 

“I am coming to dwell among you.”
Zechariah 2, 14

Last week we had guests for dinner–good friends we hadn’t seen in a while thanks to those daily life events that sometimes get in the way of what we would like.

The morning of their visit, I took on the tasks of spiffing up the house while David got to work on the special meal he had planned a few days ahead of time. He’d spent an afternoon shopping at a few stores to assure he had just the right ingredients and found recipes even though his culinary genius would kick in and improve upon them. I kept busy, too, most of the day, filling in as sous-chef in between my domestic duties. We wanted everything to be just perfect, especially since our friend, Patty, is also a gourmet cook.

“So what?” you may be thinking. It’s no less than what most folks would do.

That evening, after our friends had left and most of the dishes had been done, we went, as is our practice during Advent, to light the candles on our Advent wreath and to read a short meditation from a little publication, “The Word Among Us,” that is based on the scripture for the following day’s liturgy. And, as you no doubt have guessed by now, that wonderful promise from the prophet Zechariah was the verse the editors chose for us to reflect upon.

The parallel is obvious, isn’t it? If David and I could do so much to welcome these dear friends, to prepare with care for their visit, shouldn’t we do more to welcome Jesus into our lives? One big difference stands out to me. Yes, we are celebrating the coming of God’s Son into our world when we prepare for Christmas but HE’S ALREADY HERE. And He didn’t come just for an evening of good food, some wine and conversations. He has come to STAY. And He has come to offer us the feast of Himself.

So, I have to ask myself, what do I do on a daily basis to welcome Him, to be aware of His dwelling in me? Is my Advent preparation confined to shopping for presents and wrapping them, sending out Christmas cards, and baking goodies? What else can I do? Perhaps, it’s in taking some time each morning to pray that we will find the answer to those questions.

In case you are wondering, our evening was perfect, fun. The dinner was scrumptious and conversation flowed. But it was over so quickly, just like our celebration each year of Christmas.

Blessed Advent!

Photo: Wikipedia Commons--Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

Photo: Wikipedia Commons–Labeled for Non-Commercial Reuse

 

 

God With/In

Image: Micha Eldridge

Image: Micha Eldridge

In Advent, one of the names of God that comes to mind is Emmanuel–God with us. As I consider the many promises of Jesus as God-With-Us comes to mind. He came to complete us, reminding us that the Kingdom is Within.

Often, it helps me to visualize Jesus sitting beside me–when I pray, this morning at Mass, even riding shotgun when I drove to the mall to grab a couple of stocking-stuffers earlier today. But how much more powerful is the realization that He dwells within. As St. Paul asks in I Corinthians 6:9

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

Yikes. That’s a lot to take in!

  • What do you do to remember your indwelling Guest?
  • How does remembering that affect behavior?
  • Which resonates most for you: with, within or with/in?

I have a creative mind that loves to jump all the place (I think they would diagnose me with ADD these days–it was not recognized when I was a child.) I would be so grateful if a you would offer me a quick and easy “cure” for my flightiness–something to help me home in on God With/In all day long.

May you live a beautiful continuance of Advent.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto