Christmas 6b: Making a Home for God

Mary Great with Child by Ben Long

John 1:14a (NIV)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Joy to the world! the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare him room
– Isaac Watts

This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed salvation for all the children of Adam, the whole of your race. Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal word.
– Bernard of Clairvaux referencing Luke 1:26-38

The story of the annunciation to Mary tells us of how, with her own body, Mary makes a home for God. The medium of her own flesh becomes a habitation for the holy.
– Jan Richardson, The Advent Door

Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling; all thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation; enter every trembling heart.
 – Charles Wesley

God is not in the distant heavens or in the hidden depths of the future, but here and now. God has pitched a tent among us. Even more than that, God has made a home in us so that we can make God’s home our home. We find our way home to the heart by following Jesus.
– Henri J.M. Nouwen, with John S. Mogabgab, A Spirituality of Homecoming

Greatly are we to rejoice that God dwells in our souls, and more greatly are we to rejoice that our soul dwells in God. Our soul is created to be God’s dwelling place, and the dwelling of our soul is God. – Julian of Norwich

The place which God takes in our soul he will never vacate, for in us is his home of homes, and it is the greatest delight for him to dwell there.
-Julian of Norwich, The Showings of Julian of Norwich

What good is it to me if Mary gave birth to the Son of God fourteen hundred years ago and I do not also give birth to the Son of God in my time and in my culture? We are all meant to be Mothers of God. -Meister Eckhart

Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown, when thou camest to earth for me;
but in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room for thy holy nativity.
O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.
– Timothy R. Matthews

John 14:19-20 (NRSV)
In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

Luke 17:20-21 (NIV)
Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

2 Corinthians 6:16 (NRSV)
What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Your heart is the womb, the inn, the resting place for the Christ. In his Father’s house are many mansions, (John 14:2) where he will go to prepare for you, because your heart is already a mansion prepared for Christ to dwell.
– Suzanne Guthrie, The Edge of the Enclosure

O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
– Phillips Brooks

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For more information on the scripture translations, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

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