Where Christ Yearns to Dwell
By Pat Gohn

 
 

 

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My favorite dwelling place in my home is sitting across from the light of a crackling fire, with my feet curled up under me on the couch.  It is our “family room”– so named because the walls and all available shelf space are adorned by hundreds of framed faces of family and friends. It captures 22 years of marriage and family life, milestones and special events, across the years and across the miles. Sitting relaxed, whether engaged in conversion, reading, savoring a cup of tea, enjoying a board game or movie, or just being still and quiet, I can hear my own heart beat. I am at home.

I love this room most in the colder months. I love the fireplace. I revel in lighting candles and the glow of Christmas lights when our tree is in place by the front window.  But it’s the warmth of the fireplace that has a drawing power all its own. All winter long, whenever we light a fire, there’s an unspoken invitation and welcome: a casting off of all chores and a calling forth to come and be. To dwell with one another: to live and move together – to breathe the same air for a while. We make room for each other here. It is people and place, intimacy and belonging, community and communion. Holy moments worth dwelling in and dwelling on.

The fireplace mantle holds a small clock that serves as a reminder of all things chronos. It tells what time the school bus comes, how many minutes until dinner, what hour the game is on, who is late for curfew, when bedtime is, and so on.  And if I’m quiet enough I can actually hear it ticking off the minutes and moments ‘til Christmas.

Minutes vs. Moments. It always comes down to that. Quantity vs. Quality – when we need both! Minutes rule my house, but moments define my home. It is the truth I understand when I dwell in the family room. I look at the photographs and am hugged by the memories, and I am blessed by the understanding that home is where time and love intersect.  So many moments to be grateful for!

Then there is THE MOMENT when Jesus Christ is born. No bible verse or baby book chronicles the exact minute but believers know it was a moment unlike any other. Jesus split time in two. He was born into time and redeemed it and sanctified it. Gifting us with vision to see in a single day the promise of eternity, to know a living hope not weighed down by human limitations. In Christ we experience time no longer as a constriction, but as a fullness; not a destination, but a way. 

It has taken me years to understand and appreciate the Gift of Time from the God of Love. But it comes down to this idea of “home.” Jesus said, “Those who love me keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” John 14:23.  Somehow, I envision a warm, inviting fire. A holy intersection where time and love dwell, where the God of Love comes to where I live and move and have my being. We breathe the same air and I recognize the heartbeat of another besides my own.

May we experience the miracle of Christmas by keeping his word, and by making room for Him who found no room at the inn, and had no place to lay his head. 

Let us welcome Jesus to the Home of our Heart, where He yearns to dwell!

Ó2004 Patricia W. Gohn

 

Pat Gohn is married to Bob for 22 years, with three children, ages 11 thru 17. Known to her friends at church as “majoring in carpooling and minoring in theology,” she is currently pursuing a Masters in Theology, while being at home with her family in Massachusetts.