Saturday, December 10, 2016

Make Room

by Tim Howard

The Christmas narrative begins like this – according to Doctor Luke – who wrote two books in the Bible.

“At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire… Everyone returned to his or her own ancestral towns to register for this census and because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. 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.”

Think of it! Pregnant and in the 9th month! It’s cold – the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was long and difficult. Joseph and Mary didn’t choose to travel 69 miles – they were required to because the authorities demanded it. Why else would they make this trip – at this time – on a donkey?

When my wife was in her 9th month of pregnancy she didn’t want to drive across town in a nice car, let alone – make a 69-mile trip on foot, with a donkey.

Not only were they tired – they were exhausted when they arrived. I’m sure Mary expressed emphatically to Joseph that she couldn’t go on! We must find a place to stay because this baby won’t wait any longer!

All she wanted was a room – a small place for a night or possibly two – a place to give birth – was that too much to ask?

Back in 1946 – Before my birth I might add - Don Gardner wrote a humorous Christmas song titled: “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”. It’s about a little girl who wanted to whistle a tune and wish people a Merry Christmas but had great difficulty because she didn’t have her two front teeth.

She wasn’t asking for a lot in comparison to kids in our culture today because if you ask a child what they want for Christmas (with or without teeth) you will definitely get a lengthy list of desires. There is no shortage of ‘wants.’

All God wants is a little room – a little bit of time set aside to honor His Son’s birth. Is that too much to ask?

In this Christmas season – If a person desires only temporal gifts and has no interest in eternal gifts – I suggest he or she make requests to Santa Claus and make room for him. But if a person wants something that will last forever and never wear out – something that will change them for the good and something with substance – then make room for Jesus.

Jesus is the greatest gift anyone can receive. I’ve also discovered – to those who make room for Him – He will throw in some of the temporal stuff, as well – just to bless our lives.

Jesus came to bring light and life to all mankind. He came to the helpless and downtrodden – the needy and forgotten – those disenchanted and those looking for truth. He came for you and for me.

Don’t relegate Jesus to the outside but let Him come inside. Invite Him to not only visit you but to stay with you. You won’t be sorry! Make Room for Him this season and every season.

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