Advent Joy - Day 3

"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.  So be earnest, and repent.  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." - Rev. 3:19-20

I can't even begin to count the number of times I heard this verse quoted between the summer of 1988 and the spring of 1993.  I was part of a touring choir - (first Joy, Inc., and later Musicon Ministries) in Connecticut, for most of my junior high and high school years, and this verse was at the heart of almost every message given at the conclusion of the musicals we performed.  We sang the words of this verse, and to this day, they are deeply a part of my walk with God.  Earnestness marks my relationship with Him, as does repentance.

Even more so, tho, the picture painted in these verses is one of intimacy.  You have to open the door - the latch is on the inside - and when you do, Jesus will come in.  And then the image is: "dinner for two."  Just you and Jesus.

What do you do when it's just you and someone else for dinner?  You talk.  You eat.  You probably say things you wouldn't say if there were a dozen people there.  It's close, intimate, personal, and caring.

It's wonderful.

And you go home feeling so incredibly treasured.

If your quiet time hasn't felt like that lately... it might be time to amp it up, just a little bit.  I'm not saying that you should strive to make it something it isn't.  In any relationship, there are going to be times when you choose to act in a certain way because the foundation of your relationship implies you should - you're not going to feel all lovey-dovey all the time.  But Jesus loves you - more deeply and more truly than anyone else ever could - and you ought to feel incredibly treasured, just knowing that.

Rejoice, then - even if you have to choose to do it - knowing that He is the One you have waited for, all of Advent (and all your life).  He is here: Emmanuel, God with you - and He loves you.

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