Because suffering remakes us and we didn’t want to forget the winter grace.
We may look finished and even beautiful on the outside but we’re all a mess. If you look close at the bricks, there are burn marks that time won’t wash away.
But the scars remind us to pray. They remind us that we are vulnerable and needy and poor and that we must hold tight to the one who burns us with His love but doesn’t consume us.
And they remind us to pray for each other too. To see beyond the neat exterior to a heart that longs to be known and loved.
I couldn’t have seen it at the time but when He is binding up the brokenhearted, He is teaching the brokenhearted what it means to be loved and how to show that love someone else.
And prayer is the perfect way to love someone in advance: before they come, while you’re making the food and as you fluff the guest room.
You will learn to love them by praying for them. You will see them differently. You will sympathize with their struggle. You will see clear through and you will tread with reverence on this holy ground.
So, ready the house, yes.
But don’t forget that all the important work happens just beyond our sight.
Prayer for the Home:
Lord God, our home is among the most precious gifts we receive in this life.
We realize this all the more as we remember our Lord Jesus. He set aside home and family. Having no place to lay His head throughout His ministry, he chose to sojourn among those He came to save. We prayerfully invite Him to dwell in our earthly abode even as He continually invites us by Word and Sacrament to dwell forever in our heavenly home, which He prepares for us.
Make us ever grateful for this shelter from life’s storms.
Keep this house always the home of comfort, joy, peace, and forgiveness.
According to Your will, protect this home from the spiritual assaults of Satan, but likewise make our home a fortress against the calamities of nature and the wickedness of sinful man.
Grant us the virtue of hospitality, the joy of harmonious living, and the blessing of gathering around Your Word and bringing our families’ prayers before You.
May all who dwell in our home be blessed by Your presence and Your peace,
and may all who go forth give thanks for the grace they receive from You, through us, Your dear children
We receive Your loving kindness in our home as a reminder of the eternal home we inherit through Your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray.
from the Lutheran prayer book
“Give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light.”