Advent, Day 19: Welcoming Him into Our Ordinary

On that first warmish day of spring, we throw all our weight against creaking sashes until the smell of moist earth fills every corner of the house.  All day long moving from room to room we inhale the mixture of wet pavement, hyacinths, pine.


We open our stale corners wide open to the breeze.


Henri Nouwen says that at the center of every soul is a room with a small table and a candle on it. A door with a handle on the inside stands in the thick walls. I imagine the room looks a bit like a wine cellar at an Italian restaurant, brick archways, dark corners, oak table, heavy carved door.


We can stay inside hidden, Nouwen says, alone with our fear and self-centeredness, our seemingly controlled life, or we can push open the door and the waiting King will enter.


It’s companionship with the King of Kings starting with the antipasta.


OK, I may have embellished that last part.  You might be having Indian food.

“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me,” (Revelations 3:20).


Friends who went through the Alpha series with my husband were struck by Revelations 3:20 and in one session the wife announced, “Let’s do that.”  “Do what?” Andrew inquired. “Go home and open the door for God.” And they did.  They stood right inside their yellow English cottage of a house, turned the knob, opened the door and welcomed Him in…to their lives, their family, their marriage, their home.


But it’s not just a salvation scripture…although agreed, it’s brilliant as such.


Taking this verse in context, John wrote it down in Revelations as instructions for the church at Smyrna, for the lukewarm, rich, and self-centered.  He wrote it for me, maybe for you.  He knocks to come in, not just on safe days, not just on perfect-hair days, or even for emergencies.  He desires to come in, pull up a chair and eat the crusty bread of common life.


He wants to be formally invited into our relationship with our mother-in-law, our cublicle at our dead-end job, our Christmas morning highs, the ordinary every moment.


Our job is not to hear the knock, pick up the dust cloth, frantically try to set things in order. No, He gladly picks up the rag and the lemon spray, pulls up His sleeves.


Our job is simply to throw open the door and invite Him in.


We invite Him to move right in.


We invite Him who is King to make a kingdom out of us.


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