Is it just me, or does it seem to you that things get a little more crowded at Christmas? Of course the stores are packed. I was in one store the other day were there were major traffic jams in the isles with carts crammed, overflowing with gifts. Though people were generally nice, it was very difficult to navigate because the store had no other room for their inventory but to take up one spacious aisle with attractive displays. I was talking with a grocery store worker who was saying their stock rooms were at capacity and so was their store shelves (including some aisle space). There seems to be little room to even shop with all the people and all the products.
The roads and parking lots are also more crowed. Hoards of people are out shopping, going out to eat, headed to parties or to grandma’s house, out to look at holiday light displays, out to the movies, and out to coffee (I was going to say out to lunch, but that has a whole other meaning!). Yes, people are out and about. Parking is bad. I saw one of those ‘battle to see who is going to take the opening parking space’ where one person thinks they deserve it because they have been searching for ever, or they just think the world revolves around them, and the other person thinks the same. It’s fun to see what happens, like my own little reality show (let’s call it ‘Parking Wars,” or “Parking Space Hunters”). Anyway, the battle I was observing was funny as they both tried to fit in the space coming ever so close to each other and the cars on either side of the space. They made faces at each other, complete with hand gestures, and mouthed words that I don’t think were ‘Merry Christmas.” As they were jockeying for who would get this space, one opened up a few cars away and I took it. The people in the battle had no idea there was room for their car just a few feet away.
Yes the malls, stores, roads, and parking lots are crowed, but so is the house. With our Christmas tree we had to move things around, so there was no more room for some pieces of furniture. There is no room in the refrigerator as we get ready for family meals. There is hardly room on the kitchen counters as we gather supplies for an upcoming party. I had to rearrange some closets because there was no room for gifts that need to be out of site to inquisitive eyes. Soon there will be no room for our car in the garage as it becomes the place of exile for banished items from the house.
It seems Christmas has this ‘no room’ element. Well you can guess where I’m going with this! In the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth there was no room for His parents.
Luke 2:4-7 So 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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and 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.
Now it was not that Joseph and Mary were looking for a Best Western Motel, but all the traditional guest rooms (usually in the front of a house) were taken. No room was available but they were allowed to use the back of the house or cave were the animals were kept. It was crowded. The government had required people to go back to their home town. Every home was at capacity with every bed filled. Probably the local stores were crammed and maybe the streets were full. I don’t know if there were parking lots for the donkeys, but I would gather there was no room there too. It was stressful! Not a whole lot of room for anything or anybody.
Yet you have to wonder if someone really important or really rich came into that town there would have been room made for them. I mean when a president comes to any area places are cleared, traffic is stopped, and room is made. But here the King of kings and Lord of lords had no room. Now sure no one yet knew who He was, but even if they did, I could not say that room would have been made.
Even now we have difficulty making room for Jesus in our own lives and our excuses are much the same as that first Christmas; life is stressful, it’s not convenient, He did not come at the right time so I could be ready, too many tough things are going on and I can’t open my life to Jesus, I’m just surviving, I have no time to entertain Jesus. When we don’t make room for Jesus we have no room to adore Him, no room to learn from Him, no room to sense His love, no room to find our true self in Him, no room to see our unique call and we miss out.
Sure, making room for Jesus does take work, and will even make life crazy at times, but it will be worth it. We won’t be alone. Matthew 28:20 says He will be with us always. Making room for Jesus will also bring about order in our lives.
Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
As well, when we make room for Jesus there will be peace
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
And if we keep making room for Jesus there will be love, joy, and more as Galatians 5:22-23 says.
So make room for Jesus this Christmas. Take a moment and quietly adore Him. Attend a Christmas Eve service and bring a friend, love someone like you think Jesus would, be a little more generous, smile more, and consider Jesus’ call on your life. It might make this the best Christmas ever.
Making room for Jesus with You,
P.S. If you are in the Cypress area, come join us on December 23rd at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. We would love to see you and we encourage you to bring a friend. As well, we have three Christmas Eve Candle Light Services on December 24th 4:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., so please plan to attend and bring some friends.