Making Room at Christmas

Originally published Sunday, 15 December 2019.

As we’re entering into the Christmas season, I’ve been trying to slow down and not get caught up in the hustle. It can be so easy to get lost in the to-dos: Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, hosting the perfect family gathering, delivering cookies to all the people, making sure we have the right gift for Aunt Peggy that we only see once a year at Christmas.

It’s just a lot to keep up with, and all these things can distract from the message of the gospel. As I reflect on the story of Jesus, the idea of making room has really stood out to me. Are we making room for people in our lives, the strangers and ostracized in our communities? Are we even making room for God to work in our hearts and lives?

Mary and Joseph were turned down a room at the inn on the precipice of the miracle of Jesus being born. This miracle of the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, being born took place in a dank cave because no one made room for even a laboring woman.

I can’t help but think that when we aren’t making room for things in our lives, if maybe we’re missing out on the chance to be a part of something bigger – perhaps even a miracle. 

This month, God has been teaching me to slow down, in a very literal sense because I injured my knee working a side job on a day that should have been a day off to rest. I have a tendency to keep myself busy to distract myself from other things – unappealing tasks that need to get done, conflict in relationships, or my own feelings. 

So it’s really easy for me to use this holiday season to do just that. With so many things happening, it’s easy to distract myself, but then I become so distracted that I forget the reason I’m supposed to be celebrating. 

Jesus, the Savior of the world, was born to live a fully human life, while being fully God. Jesus, who died for my sins before I was even in the womb, came to earth. In the most humble of places, Jesus was born. 

Can we let the magnitude of that sit in? The Truth of the Gospel is this: Jesus was born, lived a human life with no sin, performed miracles, and when we were still sinners, He died for us. Without his birth – the reason we celebrate during this season – the rest of that story would not take place. 

So I’m challenged this year to make room. To reflect, truly reflect, on the reason I’m celebrating, to make room for God to speak into my life and work in my heart, and to make room for whatever he calls me to and whoever he brings into my life, whether or not it’s easy and comfortable. 

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest,  and on earth peace among those with whom is he is pleased!”

-Luke 2: 10-14

Sarah Moreau is a twenty-something who loves hiking, camping, reading, and going on adventures with friends. She works at a homeless shelter for women and children where she teaches, helps women obtain GEDs, guides them in pursuing education or careers, and walks with them through the difficult path of recovery from addiction and life struggles. Sarah has been writing since she was a kid – both for her own enjoyment and for others to read. On her days off, you can find Sarah reading, spending time with her 2-year-old nephew or close friends, hiking, or coming up with a new recipe in the kitchen. You can read more of her work at Problems 31 Women.