WEEK TWO: LOVE AS DAWN DRAWS NEAR
The Glow of a Fireplace
John 13:35 (NRSV)
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
A Danish practice called “Hygge” (pronounced hoo-gha) is becoming popular here and around the world. The word, “Hygge” comes from the Norwegian word meaning “well-being”. Hygge promotes togetherness, coziness and warmth during the long and dark winters. The practice encourages us to make our homes into retreat spaces during the short winter days, with such comforts as blankets, candles, books, mugs of cocoa, board games, and gathering with others.
A fireplace is a perfect setting for Hygge. As we gather near the fire for warmth, we also share the warmth of conversation, laughter, snuggling together, reflection and quiet. We feel the warmth of love shared among friends and family as we settle around the fire. It’s as if the crackling glow of the fireplace invites us to slow down, to build relationships, to reflect on life, and to enjoy the time with those we love.
Our best witness of God’s love is to BE love ourselves. When we genuinely love one another, we are sharing God’s love. Even when we aren’t gathered around the fireplace, we can be warm, friendly, hospitable, and kind. We can pause to listen and be present to others. When God’s love glows through us, people will feel as if they are in the presence of a warm, safe and inviting space to relax and retreat. What a wonderful way for them to experience the sheltering refuge of God’s love. Who might need to experience that love today?
God’s love glows through our loving relationships.