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At Home in Lent - Days 1 & 2

Yesterday I left home at 5 a.m. returning at 9 p.m. and worked on for a couple of hours thereafter... I think I need to give myself a talking to.  However, by chance or serendipity or some such, the going out and coming in sort of connects with the two objects identified for days 1 and 2...

  • Front door
  • Threshold

The author of the book uses the familiar Holman Hunt image to remind the reader of the need to open from within the door to our hearts (behold I stand at the door and knock...) for the first, and the story of Jesus at the home of Simon the Pharisee for the second.

Simon invites Jesus into his home, but seemingly make no arrangements for his feet to be washed. Simon is shocked and horrified when a woman washes Jesus' feet with her tears, wipes them with her hair and anoints them with precious oil.  The threshold, a transition place from out to in, and an expectation of hospitality once it has been crossed.

Over the last several months, most of the folk from the Gathering Place has crossed the threshold of the manse (two groups still to go). I have been struck by the generosity of those who have entered, some bringing dishes to share, several bringing flowers or chocolates (or both), and all bringing themselves.  It's this last which is the key, surely - that the host opens their home and heart (and hearth if they have one!) to welcome guests and make them comfortable, allowing them to be themselves.

Hospitality, welcoming and sharing, allowing others - and allowing Christ - to cross the threshold of our open(ned) hearts and take up space within.

As the much-loved and often sung song says:

Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter: all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

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