And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to m
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20
כָּאן Kahn – adj. Around you, coming soon, nearby.
I’m gazing out the window of a friend’s apartment which offers a spectacular view of what I consider my favorite spot on this planet. It’s a place where mountain springs gather into a shallow, but significant lake, enabling aquatic creatures and shoreline vegetation to flourish. Dramatic cliffs and lush rolling hills aren’t far off, framing the vista as a statement to Your perfect artistry, YHWH.
But its physical beauty, (nothing to be ignored, Lord!) is equaled by the history of Kinneret, once called the Sea of Galilee. Because of these factors combined, the place has captured my heart. This is where the hearts of your people, Creator, were shaped significantly, perhaps even more so than in Jerusalem, some would argue. This place was…and is special to You. So much so that You orchestrated something else to take place on these shores.
As I consider the portent to which I refer, my friend also comes to the window. She has been kind enough to help me understand a few basic Hebrew words and so I ask, “The word for here is poh, correct? I’m asking because poh is where I want to be and stay…forever.
“It depends,” she replies. If you mean right here, yes. But the word for nearby or surrounding is kahn.”
I looked it up later, Lord, and kahn is also the word for lodging, like an inn where multiple people might gather. That’s what this place means to me. It’s our Kahn―a place you, Jesus, bring me to with others, to teach and pour into us, your wisdom. But this word kahn is itself a tricky bit of teaching. Apparently, it has a double meaning. It suggests that not only is something nearby, it may be something “coming soon”. Coming soon? Whatever might that mean at this time of year, Master? Could it suggest an advent of some sort―a heralding of things yet to happen?
When I listen to people speak of Christmas, I hear them detail of the arrival of a child who offered us a glimpse of perfect innocence and hope for a better future. But many times, I don’t hear spoken the continuation of that moment; when the child grows to manhood and one day chooses this kahn as his home from which to identify and teach his disciples. Here he healed and here he spent three amazing years that would change the lives of twelve others, as well as the rest of the world. Here he…you, Lord Jesus, prepared yourself and your students, for a sacrificial moment unlike anything before and anything later to come after. Here in Kinneret, you gathered others in preparation for a kahn, where your followers will dwell with you forever: a moment that may be very nearby, a horizon event unlike any other, coming soon.
So maybe Christmas isn’t at all about something that has happened…yet. Maybe it’s a season all about practicing for a horizon event that we only think we comprehend. Maybe from now on, when I imagine Christmas, I’ll include in my mind’s eye something beyond decorated trees, wonderful music and lights adorning buildings. I’ll even look beyond my immediate family and friends (whom I love and cherish so much!), to see a larger kahn. It will be a place fed by a beautiful running stream that overflows into a lake which supplies great blessing to those who choose to dwell on its shores. It will be (and in my heart, already is) a place where you, my Redeemer and my Lord, invite all who accept you as their Savior King, to rest in your presence. It will be (and already in your heart is) your Kingdom kahn.
Merry Christmas. May each of you discover the shalom of His Kingdom kahn.