And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. ~Luke 2:6-7 (NLT)
Don’t forget to make room for Jesus this Christmas. It’s easy to let busy schedules, decorating, shopping, gift-wrapping, partying, and any number of other holiday traditions and rituals, crowd your life so much that there is no room left for Jesus. I personally struggle with this every year. In fact, I am finding it especially challenging this year.
How can we be sure that we always find room for Jesus in the midst of our Christmas celebrations and rituals? First of all, we need to make room for Jesus in our hearts and minds. We can do this by making it a priority to put our focus on Jesus—by reading the Christmas stories in Scripture, participating in an Advent study, making time for daily devotionals, attending worship services, listening to and singing sacred Christmas Carols (old and new), etc. I need to do a better job in this area if I want to make room for Jesus in my Christmas celebration this year.
Second, we need to make room for Jesus in our homes. If someone were to walk in your house this Christmas, would they see evidence that Jesus had been invited? Would your home feel warm and inviting? If you live with others, are words of love and kindness apparent in your home? Do your decorations reflect the sacred, as well as or better than, the secular parts of Christmas? For me, this is a work in progress. I do better in some areas than I do in others, but I definitely want people to sense that there is room for Jesus in my home.
We also need to make room for Jesus in our actions. Although they should reflect Jesus all year round, I believe it is especially important this time of year. Christmas is a difficult time for many people, for many reasons. Some people struggle financially. Some struggle with grief or anger. Some are especially lonely. Some people have jobs that are very challenging at Christmas time. Making room for Jesus in our actions, means that we reach out with a helping hand, an act of comfort, or a word of kindness, when we have the opportunity, and when we are able. We can’t help everyone, but wouldn’t it be amazing if we all found a way to help someone this Christmas? And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we spoke words of kindness to everyone we encountered this holiday season?
Finally, we need to make room for Jesus in our worship this Christmas. It’s easy to get so caught up in the busyness of Christmas that it carries over into our worship time. It can be hard to quiet our thoughts and worries, and to direct our focus on to the baby Jesus, who entered our world to save us. Listen to the prayers and messages. Sing out the songs of Christmas joy. Advent and Christmas worship is a great time for contemplation and celebration. God sent His son for us.
Let’s make room for Him in every part of our lives.