28 November 2016
That day, the branch of the Lord
shall be beauty and glory,
and the fruit of the earth
shall be the pride and adornment
of Israel’s survivors.
Those who are left of Zion
and remain of Jerusalem
shall be called holy
and those left in Jerusalem, noted down for survival.
When the Lord has washed away
the filth of the daughter of Zion
and cleansed Jerusalem of the blood shed in her
with the blast of judgement and the blast of destruction,
the Lord will come and rest
on the whole stretch of Mount Zion
and on those who are gathered there,
a cloud by day, and smoke,
and by night the brightness of a flaring fire.
For, over all, the glory of the Lord
will be a canopy and a tent
to give shade by day from the heat,
refuge and shelter from the storm and the rain.
When Jesus went into Capernaum a centurion came up and pleaded with him. ‘Sir,’ he said ‘my servant is lying at home paralysed, and in great pain.’ ‘I will come myself and cure him’ said Jesus. The centurion replied, ‘Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was astonished and said to those following him, ‘I tell you solemnly, nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this. And I tell you that many will come from east and west to take their places with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob at the feast in the kingdom of heaven.’
Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, only say the word and my servant will be healed.
We’re just over a month till Christmas and I am starting to stress about the state of my house, shopping for Christmas presents, making Christmas dinner, and just readying the house to look more ‘Christmas-y’. We are having family and friends over and I’m thinking to myself “Don’t come yet, I’m not ready!”
I’m a stickler for presentation and tidiness, which is a bit of a challenge when you have bedlam and a baby in your hands. It would drive me crazy not to have a presentably clean place for guests to walk into. I know that some people tend to cast a critical eye over your shelves, toilet and kitchen, and grunt their approval, or disapproval probably in my case. It is this scenario that Jesus would likely find me in should he come knocking tomorrow at my door, and it makes me ashamed to think about it. Imagine, if our Lord came calling tomorrow; what state would he find us in indeed?!
Yet, while we think we are unworthy to receive Jesus under our roofs, ironically Jesus wants nothing more than to come under our roofs. Yet our hearts though must be wanting his presence, clean house or not. As Jesus said, “I have not come to heal the healthy, but the sick”, I believe that the physical state of our being does not deter him from entering in. How our faith is like is what he is more interested in. The Pharisees used to dress well and sit at the heads of tables, but all this doesn’t make a difference to Jesus. He is knocking on the door of our hearts, the hearts of those who seek him and believe in him. The hearts who are calling for him, the hearts who need him. He makes no distinction as to your dress, rank, or race. The man who said this was a Roman centurion. He could have been cast aside for all you cared and labeled as the enemy. But his faith and humility amazed Jesus.
As we prepare our homes and plan our celebrations for Christmas, let us remember that the most important thing to prepare this Christmas is our hearts.
(Today’s Oxygen by Annette Soo)
Prayer – Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that even as we prepare for our Christmas celebrations, let us remember to focus and prepare the things that truly matter: our hearts.
Thanksgiving – We thank you Lord Jesus Christ, for persisting on knocking on the doors of our hearts, even when we are not worthy to receive us. Heal us and help us always oh Lord!