Winter and Dallas are doing a pretty good job of teaming up to signal the Christmas season. Sunny warm days contradict the street ornaments and glorious door wreaths everywhere. Night time feels a bit more like it with blustery winds and chilly air flowing through the streets, swaying giant puffy inflatable snowmen glowing under the warm Christmas lights. Yes, Christmas approaches and we are all doing our part to make it feel like Christmas.
This evening, the light has changed even more, signaling the darkest and longest nights will soon arrive. Tonight, as I was driving home in that dimming dusk light, one church bulletin board caught my eye. “Are you in the Inn crowd?” There were more letters after it but I stopped reading there.
Immediately, my mind went to that sweet, weary couple so long ago, who looked and looked, knocked and knocked, hoping to just find a warm place to rest and dwell, a safe place to give birth, to carry on their mission.
The Inn. A place of warmth. A place of nourishment, of rest, of community, if only for a day, a week, or more… A place to refuel so that the journey may continue. A place of hospitality.
Am I part of the Inn crowd? I have to say no. No, I’ve been too distracted outside the Inn with work, and the hustle, with loud distractions and christmasing that the Inn is, indeed, quite empty these days.
Today, all around us, there are people who are looking for that Inn on a street full of no vacancy signs. They are looking - we are looking - for The Inn where deep friendships can grow, where hope is shared, and good news is lived. We live in shallow, fast times. How do we create a place to live slowly, invite many, to connect, to be human, to nourish, to refuel, to go deep and disciple long? Forge taught me how to do this. Today, I needed that billboard to refocus my attention.
Innkeepers, there is no better time of the year to turn your signs around and signal the arrival of the good news. Turn on your lights and open your doors.
Yes, the Inn is open. Yes, there is room.
#advent #ostia #philoxenia #Emmanuel
Lue Kraltchev is a Forge residency graduate. She lives in McKinney with her husband and a few well-behaved dogs.
Photo Credit: Ostia Antica by jessi https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1730258