1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 1: 1-7
These verses are so familiar to us, and of course during the Advent and Christmas season our focuse particularly turns to the Book of Luke and the 1st and 2nd Chapters.
No room for them in the inn... this particular portion hit me a few weeks ago. It was a combination of things I was observing in my life as well as the hustle and bustle going on around me. I said to myself - the world is the Inn... are we making room for Jesus? From the hectic traffic, the constant commercials on television telling us what we just had to have for Christmas, or what we had to give for Christmas, Cookie baking, Christmas parties and gatherings, Christmas card writing and sending, decorating the many, many trees in not just my home, but our church and the homes of loved ones (I do enjoy decorating!) to observing the long shopping lines, the sales clerks, some grumpy and some refreshingly cheerful, and the Big 50% off sales at the local malls. Santa, reindeer, caroling, snowmen... there is so much that comes along with our preparations of Christmas - some good, some not so good. I then began wondering... are we personally making room for Him in our Inn? We see that the world is closing the Inn door on Jesus in many ways - for example, our daily newspaper's banner on Christmas morning read Happy Holidays - not Merry Christmas. I then compared our lives w/ the Inn. Did our preparations for Christmas become so full that there was no room for Jesus? Was our Inn full to capacity with so many other things that we inadvertantly had shut the door on Jesus?
Sweet sisters, I pray that wasn't so for you during Advent. I pray that all the shopping, cooking, cleaning, wrapping, driving was done w/ Christ at the center! That you completed your tasks with joy! I pray that the Inn was open and your celebration of his birth with you family and friends was filled with joy and thanksgiving! (If it didn't happen this year for you - I pray that next year it will) I also pray that with your gift giving and receiving you realized you were emulating the Love of God - Because He loved us He gave us the gift of His son (refer to John 3:16). May we learn to give as God gave to us. We also must receive the gift of His son, so I pray that you humbly received the Christmas gifts your loved ones presented to you as well. Yes, it's good to give and receive gifts! God gave us the gift of His son - Make room for Jesus in your Inn - Receive Him!
Merry Christmas to each of you! May your celebration continue!
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."