Advent, Come, Lord Jesus

There are two aspects to an invitation.

The expression of desire and of permission.

We can’t invite someone into our home and then leave part of them standing outside.

“Behold, I stand at the gate and knock. And anyone who lets me in, I will sit down, and I will take my repast with him.”

Revelation 3:20

We all seem eager to let Jesus in at Christmas. He appears to us in this quiet nativity scene as a sweet, innocent baby. It’s easy to accept Someone so beautiful and mild.

But just days after everyone was adoring Him in a manger, Simeon was already saying to His mother: “Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” St. Luke 2:34-35

We’ve invited Him in, but we hesitate once He’s at the door.

We’re not sure if we really want all of Him, or just the comfortable parts.

We desire the soft glow of the nativity, but we’re not sure about the bright exposing light of truth that comes with Him. Permission to come inside with commandments and reform and sacrifice and suffering…we are so tempted to say, “It’s my house, my rules. You’ll need to leave that at stuff at the door.”

I was driving through my neighborhood yesterday amongst a wonderland of inflatables. There was Santa and reindeer, minions and even Yoda in Santa hats, giant Frosty, and so many more characters all ready for Christmas. At a few houses, I saw nativity scenes mixed in. The concept of the Baby in the manger was welcomed into the crowd. But I’ve been through this same neighborhood near Easter, when the giant inflatable bunnies and eggs take over. A cross seldom makes it into that crowd. A cross would be quite a contradiction.

I can’t stop reading His story at the manger. Just a few sentences later He is set for the fall and resurrection. I need to know Who I am inviting. He comes as a humble child, and as a human, He is meant to grow. He can’t get put away with the Christmas decorations. I need to invite all of Him in and actually open the door and let Him walk through it. He’s not here to visit. He’s here to stay for Easter, and for all of eternity.

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