welcome & warmth

Mar 20, 2024


To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said:
‘If you make my word your home
you will indeed be my disciples,
you will learn the truth
and the truth will make you free.’

The heart of the home in years’ past was the hearth.

It was at the hearth that the family gathered for the warmth and light of the flame and the food that was prepared there.

The fire was treated with respect since the same flame which provided energy for the home could just as easily destroy it.

It is a tragedy that the fire so central at the Pentecost birth of the Church has too often been used by Christians to punish prophets and parishioners with firepower – even burnings at the stake, and the more subtle but just as fatal fire and brimstone sermons which communicated human fears rather than divine love.

Six hundred years before Christ ,the warrior-king Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the young men who refused to worship false Gods “be thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace.”  Daniel 3

And so easily and often the greatest power of good ever unleashed on earth in Jesus Christ, God-with-us, is tragically abused to justify evil.

Most of us don’t have as much direct contact with naked flame these days apart the occasional lighting of the recreational barbecue or a meditation candle.

While the fire of the hearth is no longer the centre of a family home, we are most at home where our heart dwells.

A person without a personal centre, an inner hearth where the fire of God’s love burns giving light and warmth and nourishment, will succumb to every fad and fashion, a rudderless ship without direction. purpose or destination.

When we take time for prayer, often not in formal or vocal prayer but in relaxed contemplation, we are sitting at the hearth with Jesus.

The presence of Jesus welcomes and warms,.

“Contemplation is nothing else
but a secret,
and loving infusion of God,
which, if admitted,
will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.”
John of the Cross


If you missed my recent post with an update on my Sabbatical Leave, you might like to catch up at this link.


Take an initiative and initiate a cafe gathering, or join these gatherings:

Wednesday 20 March 2024 10.00am Bellbird Eatery at the Dowse, 45 Laings Road, Lower Hutt. Catherine

Thursday 11 April 2024 10.00am (put the date in your diary) Stumble Inn, 200 Mangorei Road, New Plymouth. Joan

Email me to add another: john@fff.org.nz

After your gathering send a sentence or two about the encounter.


1 Comment

  1. Really liked this thank you – feelings of warmth and love came to me as I read it.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts



With her encounter with the angel, Mary’s life became an adult adventure of mature faith.

growing up

growing up

Thomas was not doubting as much as seeking; he was expressing the desire of one who truly yearns for adult faith.

blessed assurance

blessed assurance

The point of this Easter Season is that we personally experience the 2024 reality of God in Jesus Christ present with us.

so much colour

so much colour

Jesus is present, alive, active, with us and filling our existences with the cosmic and eternal colour of abundant life.

let’s get physical

let’s get physical

Turn to Jesus today begging him to reveal himself personally, intimately and physically