December 19, 2011
Room Enough for Jesus
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7 (NASB)
One of the first words that comes to mind when most think about the holiday season is "busy." Sad, but true.
I know it's true in my life. I can get so busy decorating the house, baking goodies, shopping for presents, going to parties and sending Christmas cards. Then, just when I think I've got a handle on it, I receive an unexpected card in the mail or a plate of cookies from a neighbor. What do I do? I find time to return the gesture.
It's usually a challenge, but somehow we find time and make room to do all sorts of things during the holidays.
We make room for company to come. We make room for a Christmas tree in front of the picture window. We make room in our crowded schedule for activities we don't have time for.
Let's take time to consider: Have I made room for Jesus in my busy life this month?
In the familiar story of Christ's birth, I've always been bothered that there was no room in the inn for Jesus. I can't help but think didn't they know who He was? What could have been so important that they couldn't stop to make room for Jesus? My best guess is they were thinking only about themselves and their own busy agenda.
Likewise, we can become so busy with our Christmas plans that we run out of room for Jesus, too.
One of my mother's Christmas traditions is to withhold baby Jesus from her nativity set until Christmas morning. One year, when her first grandson was three years old, he asked, "Grandmamma, where is baby Jesus?"
"He's not been born yet," she explained to Patrick. "Jesus comes on Christmas Day. Then, you'll find Him right here," she added while pointing to the manger.
Like years past, Mom and Dad's house was full of excitement as family members arrived with arms full of presents. We expected to exchange gifts and enjoy a time for food, fun and celebration. But Patrick expected something different. He ran into the house shouting, "Is He here, yet? Is He here? Has Jesus come?"
Mom took Patrick over to the nativity and there, cradled in the manger, was baby Jesus. He had come just like He'd promised.
Over 2,000 years ago, God promised us a Savior. In a little town called Bethlehem, God kept His promise and Christ our Lord was born. While most missed what was happening that holy night, Christ's birth didn't escape the attention of heaven, a few shepherds, three wise men and some cattle. They pushed aside their duties and agendas to make room for Jesus. In fact, like Patrick, some of them anticipated His arrival. In doing so, their lives were forever changed.
Every year Jesus still searches for hearts to fill. But He can only fill space where we have left room for Him.
Christ's presence may go unnoticed by the world, but you and I, along with others who have made room in their hearts, can experience all the glorious wonder He brings. Let's cast aside the busyness of our lives this month to make room for Christ as we anticipate His arrival!
Dear Lord, the best I know how, I lay down my busy agenda to make room for You. Jesus, I don't want to miss a thing. Give me fresh eyes to see You this holiday season. I want to experience Your birth like never before so that I never close You out again. Welcome home, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell
My Utmost for His Highest: An Updated Edition in Today's Language by Oswald Chambers
Be intentional about letting go of the unnecessary things in order to make room for Christ this season.
Think of ways you can worship Jesus as you decorate your tree, purchase your gifts and make your treats.
How can I make more room in my life for the Christ child this coming year?
Matthew 6:33, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (NIV 1984)
Deuteronomy 6:5, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (NIV 1984)
Exodus 20:3, "You shall have no other gods before me." (NIV 1984)
© 2011 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.
Originally published Monday, 19 December 2011.