“She… laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

Even as a child, these words broke my heart.

Maybe ‘because’ I was a child, they broke my heart. I remember watching plays of the nativity throughout my childhood, and always feeling somewhat ashamed on behalf of humankind for turning the unborn Christ away, not to mention His heavily pregnant mother and her most-likely desperate husband. The cruel irony that the One who makes room for us could find no one to make room for Him still tears at my heart. This trend followed Him throughout His life, such that Jesus Himself once said, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). Ugh, I could just cry. Imagine it, Jesus had not even been born yet, and He was already being turned away.

This begs the question: Do I have any room for Jesus? In the craziness of life, which especially seems to mount during the Christmas season, do I get so overwhelmed that I turn Christ away? Do I have any room left in my life for Jesus? Is there still a place within my heart for Him? Will I “prepare Him room” during this Christmas season?

Jesus is not a burdensome guest.

And I think we stumble on this point. In our experience, hosting means added pressure and strain. How often do we stress over the work of hosting only to lose sight of the joy a guest can bring?

Guests are work, without a doubt. It exhausts me to think of all the ways in which I prepare for a guest. Beginning with a deep clean of my home from top to bottom. We’re not talking a cursory whisk around the living room. We’re talking a rearrange-the-furniture kind of clean. A “no one must know that we live here” kind of clean! 😊 Junk goes in the trash and everything in my path is destined for a purging. Nothing is sacred, my kids have learned 😊  Remote corners are attacked with a vengeance, chairs are stacked, couches moved, and cleaning supplies that haven’t seen the light of day are thrown into work. Then there’s the guestroom to set up, possibly resulting in a child inconveniently ousted from her room to bunk in with siblings. Sheets are washed, beds made up, towels laid out. There’s the meal planning, grocery shopping, baking, cooking, oh, and I almost forgot, the added expense. There goes my “new dryer” fund. Is this guest really worth it?

We need to stop. Just. Stop.

Jesus isn’t that kind of guest. He doesn’t need you or your life to be perfect in order for you to make room for Him. He isn’t coming to see your couch. He’s coming to see you. Your drapes neither distract Him nor impress Him. He’s here for you. You just simply need to open your door. Just reach for the handle, turn the knob, and take the step of welcoming Him in. Receiving Him right where He finds you. In your mess. In the disaster. In your chaos. In the fear. In your anxiety. In the broken pieces. In your “not enough’s” and the “what if’s.” Let Him into whatever your life is right now. He’ll do the rest. He’ll be your cleanup crew. He’ll rearrange the furniture (oh, let me tell you, He will). He’ll find His way around just fine. Don’t you worry about a thing. Just let Him into your home, into your heart, into your life. Welcome Him. Make place for Him. Sit down with Him. Enjoy Him. This is what it means to prepare Him room – spend time with Him, relax with Him, and enjoy His company. You’ll soon discover He’s no ordinary, cumbersome, passing guest. He’s one who comes to dwell with you. And once you let Him in, you will never want Him to leave.

PS – Double check your title deed. It just might have His name on it 😊

PPS – Replace your name with Martha’s in this verse: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King.
Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room…


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© Copyright 2020 by Rhoda Griffin.  Please do not copy or distribute this content without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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