A friend laughs when she thinks of me and a time she had come over to my house during the Christmas season. This friend has decorations for every holiday imaginable–and I mean boxes full of them. She even swaps out her picture frames to match the occasion. We were sitting on my couch, and I mentioned to her that I couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over because I was so overwhelmed by the decorations in my home. I felt like it was closing in on me. She looked around my house–I had a Christmas tree and a wreath.
That was a few years ago. Now in a different home, I have a few more wreaths I put up at Christmas time, a tree, an ornament banner, and a string of lights across the mantel. Our style is pretty minimalist. I appreciate the effort others make when decorating their homes. Some people are wired with creative talent for making things beautiful. For the rest of us, there’s Pinterest. And I’m ok with that.
I’m impressed today with the readings about preparing room for the Lord.
- Solomon finishes a beautifully built and adorned temple for the Lord to dwell. God’s presence fills the space as a thick fog, and there is great celebration.
- Ninevah was a prosperous and bustling town that was filled with riches and success, but a warning predicts a disgraceful fall, this enemy of the Lord.
- Jesus tells Zacchaeus he’s coming to his house for dinner.
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. Luke 19:5-6 NLT.
- Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem on a donkey, and weeps over her rejection.
- Jesus drives out the people selling animals for sacrifice–a house of prayer turned den of thieves.
But it’s in 1 John 4 where it gets driven home, right to my very heart.
13 And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. 14 Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. 16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
Lord, your Spirit in me is stronger than this spirit in the world–let me be aware of that above all. I want to carry this reminder of making room for you, and loving others–my brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you for your great love.
9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
11 Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.