All around us, the wind is swirling, the air is freezing, the clouds are dark. And the snow and ice are here. And yet, as soon as we step inside, the wind stops, the harsh cold is left behind; we are kept alive by coming home to the warmth and peace of the hearth.
Within every human soul there is also a hearth- an inner hearth. This is the place in our hearts where we can connect to Christ, where there is peace, where there is inner warmth. And even though outside in the world, harshness and chaos reign supreme, we stay inwardly alive by practicing returning again and again to our inner home.
For like winter, this world is actually meant to be harsh, cold, challenging. This is because this is the home of the dragon, the adversary of mankind. Our world is designed to be a place of tribulation and struggle; And we only make it more difficult for ourselves when we expect that this world will someday satisfy our desires, that this world will become true and righteous.
And yet, at the same time, Christ has made this world of egotism and strife his home by entering it through the hearth of our inner hearts. He is now working with us, not to perfect this world, but to give birth to a new humanity, a totally new spiritual earth out of the darkness.
The Christian path is not to expect this world to be good; the Christ way is to find the warm hearth in the cold, to continually enliven our hearts by kindling love for god and human beings, even while all around us, the freezing rain falls, the lies and betrayals weave.
This is what it means to overcome. And this love is the seed for our true and future home. The ‘overcomers’ are the ones of whom our gospel speaks today- the ones ‘coming through the great suffering. The ones washing their garments white with the blood of the lamb.’
May our practice of communion enliven the flame of our inner hearth.
This contemplation is by Rev. Jonah Evans and inspired by Revelation 7