Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Our home, Christ's home

{Preparing for Christmas: Advent Week One}

Last year, in New Zealand, the boys and I made our first gingerbread house.  

I love baking, but I had just given birth to our third baby, we were living in a rental house, and I didn’t feel up to making gingerbread house pieces from scratch.  I wasn’t even sure I was up to making Christmas cookies that year.  

But I found an inexpensive gingerbread kit at the store, and thought it sounded like a fun Christmas craft with minimal effort.  The boys loved getting out all the house pieces, sticking them together with ready-made icing, and lavishly decorating the house with bags of included lollies (NZ-ese for candy).  

Looking through photos of making the gingerbread house got me thinking about our actual house, and decorating our house for Christmas, and about the little book “If Jesus Came to My House” which just arrived recently in a package from my Mom.  

I also thought of those beautiful verses in Proverbs 24:3-4

“By wisdom a house is built, 
and through understanding it is established; 
through knowledge its rooms are filled 
with rare and beautiful treasures.”  

I thought of the MnMs and gumdrops crusting the edges of our gingerbread roof, and how the house was made to look beautiful on the outside, but it was just an empty shell.  The last thing I want our home to be this Christmas, or any Christmas, is beautifully decorated but empty of meaning.

What if Jesus came to our house this Christmas?

What if He was there in our living room on Christmas Eve, listening to us read the Christmas story, helping James and I wrap the presents, watching a Christmas movie with us?  

What if He slept on a sleeping bag in the kids’ room, woke up gleefully with them on Christmas morning, and ran with them to velcro the figure of baby Jesus onto the Advent Calendar manger?  

What if He was there on Christmas morning while we each opened the present we’d wrapped for Him, received each gift with a delighted look and a big grin, sat down with us to tuck in to Christmas dinner, and stretched out on our couch for a much-needed Christmas-afternoon nap?

What if He (being Jesus) could read all the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts?  What if He could see when we were being truly grateful, and when complaints crept in, even the ones we didn’t say aloud?  What if He heard every kind thought, as well as every frustrated one? 

Well, guess what.

He’ll be here.  At your house.  And mine.  For Christmas.  

Are we ready for Him?

Lord, help us prepare for your coming this Christmas by imagining you walking among us.  We know you’re always with us; we welcome you again into our homes and hearts.    Come, Lord Jesus, take your place in our midst and may all that you find here bring you joy.


  1. Do you know I have never made gingerbread houses with my kids? It's on my list for this year! My lovely. generous in-law women bought me Ann Voskamp's 24 candle advent wreath, made by Caleb. I'm so excited to use it this year! I don't have candles yet, on December 4th, but I'm still excited! Grace. =)

  2. What a powerful way to look at the Christmas season! I love that you thought about Jesus being there through each and every moment of your Christmas.