In the 1939 musical fantasy “The Wizard of Oz,” the good witch Glinda tells Dorothy to click her heels together and think to herself, “There’s no place like home.”
As she repeatedly chants “There’s no place like home,” suddenly she is back home with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry. Dorothy tells her auntie and uncle where she’s been, but her auntie Em tells Dorothy she’s had a bad dream, after being hit on the head by flying debris from a tornado. That’s all, just a bad dream.
But Dorothy insists on saying that she went someplace. There were good things there and some bad things, but it was a place. Dorothy is sure of that. Bottom line, Dorothy was changed. She came to know that there’s no place like home.
Lately I’ve been thinking that prayer is like that. More than anything, prayer is a place. When we really encounter God, we go to a place where we meet God. We exit this world for a while. We really do. Or, we really can, but it takes work. It takes intentionality. It takes practice.
[And by the way, you don’t have to wonder after you do this, “Hmm…, did I really go some place? Did I meet God? You just do it as a discipline. And you be grateful that you even had time to do it.]
So when you read the Scriptures during this Advent season, tell Jesus that you want to go to the place where you can meet Him. You will be changed. When you try this, unfold your arms and welcome Jesus’ presence, saying, “Come Lord Jesus, invade my life. Show me what you have for me.” When you meet the Lord at that place, he changes you and then sends you back into the world to help push back the kingdom of darkness.
Try this between now and Christmas. Plan a morning or maybe two a week when you can have, say 15 minutes of total silence, after you read the Scriptures. I’d definitely recommend reading Luke 1-3 and Matthew 3 and John 1 and Revelation 12. These are Scriptures that tell of the coming Messiah. After you read, do as I said. Unfold your arms. Sit quietly for several minutes. Ponder the Scripture you just read. Welcome the Lord’s presence, saying, “Come Lord.” And just let yourself go to the place where you can met Him. I wonder what you’ll discover?