Welcome - One Good Word a Day


On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him.

Luke 8:40

“MOM, I LIKE IT WHEN I get home and you already have the music on,” my oldest daughter said, shrugging out of her backpack and jacket. She sighed deeply, then inhaled. “And it always smells good too.”

A few months earlier, I’d learned about the concept of hygge. Pronounced “hoo-gah,” it’s a Danish word that roughly translates to all things cozy, a feeling of comfort that fosters contentment. As the busy whirlwind of the holidays moved into the deep chill of winter, I found myself gravitating toward things that made me feel this sense of coziness. Candlelight. Soft music. Fuzzy blankets. Chunky mugs. Even the twinkling lights leftover from holiday celebrations that still wound around our banister and lit our otherwise empty tree.

Those small changes were less about the atmosphere in my home and more about the attitude of my heart. I was grateful, and I wanted my life and home to reflect that gratitude. I wanted both to feel welcoming.

The word welcome is from the Old English wilcuma, meaning “a person whose coming is pleasing.” From the beginning, the word was meant positively, expressing pleasure at a person’s visit. Welcoming someone reveals our happiness at their arrival in the intimate confines of our home. It shows a level of trust in that person and comfort in their presence.

Similarly, Jesus’ followers once welcomed him with gladness. As they waited for him on the opposite side of the lake, preparing for his arrival, a sense of anticipation rippled through the crowd. They were ready to welcome Jesus and the good news he bore, of salvation and mercy and healing. When we think of Jesus, do we bear the same posture the crowd did, of joyful expectation? Do we cultivate a heart that’s ready for him, or one that considers our time with him an unwelcome intrusion?

I love the idea of hygge because, though the changes are external, they are meant to foster an environment of contentment and ease. Similarly, when we actively prepare our hearts for Jesus, the work we have done in advance means that our time with him is more likely to be fulfilling.

Lord, help us to welcome you into our hearts and homes with a posture of joyful expectancy. Amen.


One Good Step: What are three ways you can actively welcome Jesus into your life today?

From the Book:

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One Good Word a Day
By Kristin Demery, Kendra Roehl, and Julie Fisk

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