It’s less work to blog off a book than spend hours browsing news sites for something relevant, so you’re still stuck with pages from this devotional for a while. This is page 36. (Cast off on Jan 4th, though, so fingers crossed! Look for other topics under the tag Inviting God In.)
Lift up, O gates, your lintels:
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in. Psalm 24:7
I’m reading Camilla Lackberg’s book The Preacher right now. The actual book is about a recent murder and two cold cases revolving around the patriarch of a cultish (and possibly inbred) family. I’m not far into it but Erica, kind enough to agree to let relatives spend a couple nights, has reached the end of her patience with this cousin, wife and unruly kids. After the daughter has whined about not wanting sausage and macaroni for lunch, and the mother explaining that the 6 year old has the right to eat what she wants rather than what’s in front of her, Erica has now dumped the daughter’s meal over mom’s head and the relations who outstayed their welcome have taken the messy hint, packed up and left. Erica feels zero guilt for her behaviour, wishing she’d had the guts to say no to the family in the first place, but sometimes people are polite to family when they’d rather turn them out on their ear.
The busyness and pressure of the last days before Christmas sometimes leave hearts feeling anything but expansive and open. … It is time to check the size of our heart-door and see if it needs some expanding to let the God of Glory enter in.
Ignoring the God aspect of the holiday for other families, I more recall my house growing up and how crazy it’d be for the run-up to the day. Often we’d be the hosts for Christmas supper and have anything from 25-45 family members over that afternoon and evening. We didn’t have guests spending nights usually; Grandpa’s house had the extra bedrooms down the road for all that, and then we’d have lunch Boxing Day over there and visit with any relatives that hadn’t yet left for distant homes.
As big a headache as it was to prep two houses for company (meals/table settings on our side and helping to clean the bedding at Grandpa’s for company), I know my mother misses the hustle and bustle of it all. Her health is poor and this past summer (with help from this minion) they finally cleared the last of their stuff off the acreage they sold to Dad’s cousin and moved most of it into the house they bought from that cousin’s parents. Hard to believe they’ve been in that house a year already.