luke 2:7″She gave birth to her first son, wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them to stay in the inn
I wanted to tell you a story. A different Christmas story. Not the usual Bethlehem story. Not even the story from the prophecies of Isaiah. I wanted to share a totally different Christmas story which you’ve probably never heard of. But as I made my notes, proofread them, made corrections, and prepared to type, I remembered yesterday’s Sunday school lesson and suddenly, everything changed. Suddenly I got a different leading and a new revelation. I remembered the words of the speaker yesterday and I realized that I needed to share this. The intriguing thing is that this sudden revelation may have been completely ignored in the Christmas story seeing that it isn’t so relevant. Everybody has become so used to the “Mary the virgin getting pregnant and Joseph the carpenter being the obedient fiance and the wise men with their gifts and the shepherds following the star and the birth of the Savior of the world”. Yes. That’s the wonderful Christmas story. But there’s one lesson we’ve missed out on. And in as much as I’m itching to give you this amazing Christmas story that hasn’t been told before, I’ll be a good girl and share this lesson that the Holy Spirit laid in my heart.
I wasn’t exactly concentrating in church yesterday during Sunday school. I was at a new church with new faces and so I was a bit uncomfortable. I was actually looking at the silver ring on the finger of the speaker and wondering how old her marriage was as she had advanced in age. And while I was looking at the patterns on her dress, she called my attention and asked me to read out Luke 2:7 which is the bible verse above. And that was when it hit me. Poor Mary must have been very tired looking for a place to birth her child. Everywhere was occupied with people travelling for the census. The hotels were filled to their maximum capacity, the motels and inns had no extra bed. There was NO ROOM for Jesus to be born. You see, Mary was definitely not looking for a luxurious suite to birth her child. She wasn’t even looking for a well furnished comfortable room. All she wanted was a room. She didn’t mind that the room would have no furniture, no baby cot for the child, no fan even. She just wanted a room to deliver the Savior of the world and beyond. But there was no room. And Jesus was born in a manger.
Today, even now, Mary is in labour, tired and stressed and ready to deliver. All she’s asking for is a room. From you. All she needs is room to birth Jesus in your life. Jonathan McReynolds (my ultimate favourite) brought me to tears with his song “make room”. Are you so occupied with frivolities and vanities that there is no single room for Jesus? Is your life so filled up with school and work and relationships and all the so-called necessities of life that there’s no room for Jesus? Are you leaving out Jesus in the dark manger because there’s no room for him in your life? Are you shutting the door of your heart because you’re too busy having fun and you can’t afford to make room for Jesus?
I wish we could see beyond the carols and the jingle bells and the Christmas lights and the delicious home made meals. Yes these things are good too but I wish we could take out time to look beyond them and see a tired Mary, heavy with child, seeking for a room in our hearts to birth Jesus. Christmas reminds us of the birth of the saviour of the world. But what is more important is that he hasn’t even been born in the lives of some of us. What then are we celebrating if he hasn’t been born in our lives? What are we dining and wining to if he hasn’t found room in us to be born? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m not giving you what you want. Maybe I’m being overly spiritual in my understanding of Christmas and its significance. I’ve never even seen it this way myself. But the truth remains that all our celebrations, all our gifts, all our Christmas concerts, all the family dinners and hangouts, all of it is meaningless if we’ve not made room for Jesus to be born.
I’ve been saying for a while now that all I want for Christmas is a guitar (I still want one dad. Just in case you’re reading this). Now, Jesus is saying to you and I that all he wants for Christmas is a room in your life. Not the “Joy to the world” musicals and the “Oh holy night” specials. All he wants is a room. A room in your life for him. And as the year runs out, I’m telling him to move my habits over, to move my ego over, to move my plans over, to move over whatever it is that takes his space. I’m not keeping Mary out anymore. I’m making room for him to be born. Right now. And second to wanting a guitar for Christmas, I want you to do same with me. Until next year, God bless.