We were latchkey kids, letting ourselves into a cold, dark house, waiting until someone came home from work. Our mum would arrive harassed and hurried, throwing snacks in our direction to help satiate an appetite before food finally made it to the table.
I remember her irritable scowl, lips pursed red around a cigarette as she cooked, while shushing us out from under her feet. I didn’t define home quite like other children did. Ours was a broken place, a site of verbal fights, word sparring, a resentful chill, and an abiding air of animosity.
I ached inside for love and affection, for the right kind of attention, for warm responses, for a lighter atmosphere, for peace. Even a hint of laughter made a day seem brighter. How do we define a home? Our impressions are largely shaped by the homes we grew up in or the ones we’ve built as adults.
Our lengthy time in lockdown has either given us a greater appreciation for the refuge and safety, the homely comfort of where we live, or it has made us notice its insufficiencies and defects. At its best, I believe that home should be a safe place, a shelter and sanctuary.
Life can be cruel and a family not all you hoped they would be, but home should be where empty hearts as well as empty bellies get filled. Home suggests a place of belonging, a space to be fully yourself, a welcome that never gets worn out. Although such qualities are mostly found in our forever Home with God.
“The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” — Isaiah 32:17-18 NIV
As I seek to create a meaningful Advent observance, what I’m drawn to focus on most is how God took on human flesh, and actually came to physically dwell with us.
Jesus left heaven’s home to become one with us, gave up His holy privileges to be born into a world of darkness, sin, pain, and chaos. He opens His home to the wounded, the broken, and lost, to all who need saving from themselves. People just like you and me, in fact.
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish.” — John 1:14 MSG
Heaven opens its gates to let us in. Heaven’s only begotten Son becomes our Saviour, Lord, and King. We become God’s adopted children by faith in Christ, now made part of the family. We are welcomed into the kind of home we were always meant to inhabit.
“Of what great worth is Your loving-kindness, O God! The children of men come and are safe in the shadow of Your wings. They are filled with the riches of Your house. And You give them a drink from Your river of joy. All life came from You. In Your light we see light.” — Psalm 36:7-9 NLV
During Advent, we remember Jesus being born on earth. We look for the Light of His presence in a world growing darker by the day. Our hopes are ignited for His eventual glorious reappearing. We pray, contemplate, and celebrate.
And we make room to receive Jesus anew. Let Him be born again in our hearts. Offer Him a home, a place to feel welcome. Reflect on His coming to earth with joyful anticipation.
The home we offer God is a surrendered and receptive heart which is journeying ever closer to the spiritual homeland of His presence. And a mind engaged more with the eternal than the temporal and temporary things of life. May that be our goal during Advent and beyond.
Hello Dear Friends, it feels good to be slowly easing myself back into blogging again! Although I’m still very fatigued, I hope to write a couple of posts before taking a Christmas break. How are you planning to savour Advent? Blessings and love. xo 😊💟