Does it seem strange to you that I would write about making room for someone on their birthday? For most American children, birthdays are celebrated with great fanfare. We picture a room full of excited children amid balloons, gifts, cake and games. Making room for the birthday boy or girl is never in jeopardy because the birthday child is typically the center of attention.

 

What makes the birth of Jesus so striking is how lost humanity greeted it with such apathy and disdain. How was it possible for an innkeeper to deny lodging for Mary in labor? No vacancy! No room! It sounds so cruel because it WAS so heartless. How was it possible for an entire nation to miss this most prophesied and vaunted arrival?

 

When the author, Marjorie Holmes, first wrote the Christmas classic, Two from Galilee, she was refused a book contract by one publisher after another. She writes, “For six long years I was destined to journey with Mary and Joseph from publisher to publisher, only to be turned away at the inn. No room, no room! Nobody wants to read Biblical novels anymore,” I was told. And, “You’ve made the Holy Family as real as the people next door! You can’t do that.” “That’s exactly what I meant to do; I pleaded, “To make people realize they weren’t statues or pictures on a Christmas card. They did breathe and hurt and hope and love just like we do.” Over the years, my wife Sue and I have read this Christmas classic and were inspired by it. We are thankful that Bantam books finally made room for this book, Two From Galilee.

 

Missing the obvious, which is the birth of the Savior at Christmas, has become a work of art by Madison Ave. advertisers. Cashing in on Christmas while ignoring Jesus and the gift of eternal life that He brought might excite financiers on Wall Street, but it rings hollow on the golden streets of heaven. Rushing around furiously to attend every Christmas party and emptying bank accounts to purchase every gift seems like the culturally correct thing to do, but it only saps energy and drains bank accounts leaving us spiritually dry. What do we need to do to truly capture the true meaning of the Christmas season? Answer: Make room for Jesus!!!

 

Cornerstone’s theme this Christmas season is simple and profound: Make Room!

 

How can you ensure that you are making room for Jesus this Christmas? Allow me to suggest a few practical ways:

 

1. Make room to worship Jesus each week of the Christmas season. Make worshiping Jesus a priority. Don’t stay out so late or get so busy that church worship goes to a second tier.

 

2. Make room and get quiet to read and meditate on the Christmas story. Read Matthew 1:18-2:15; Luke 1:26-2:20. When you take time to let the Word of God sink in, you will discover those insights you previously missed will now glow with fresh inspiration from God.

 

3. Make room for a needy family, needy ministry, or needy individual in your giving and your celebration. A lonely widow, a foster child or an international student would be blessed to find a place at your table. Needy people will understand that Jesus is the love of God come to earth through your generous giving. Christmas is a time for giving. So give!

 

4. Make room to mend broken relationships. The purpose of Christ’s coming was announced by Gabriel to Joseph, “You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Christmas is a good time to reach out and forgive someone who has sinned against you. When you forgive, the sacrifice of Christ’s coming will become more real to you.

 

5. Make room to be with your family. The first Christmas is all about the holy family. It is by no accident that God sent the Savior within the context of a family. Marriage and the family are God’s plan. So make some family memories by keeping family Christmas traditions and by making some new ones.

 

This Christmas make a conscious effort to make room for Jesus in every area of your life. Find space in your family, your relationships, your worship, your celebrations, and, most of all, your heart for Jesus, the King of heaven who was born the infant son of Mary. O Come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

"For most American children, birthdays are celebrated with great fanfare. We picture a room full of excited children amid balloons, gifts, cake and games."

"No vacancy! No room! It sounds so cruel because it WAS so heartless. How was it possible for an entire nation to miss this most prophesied and vaunted arrival?"

"Rushing around furiously to attend every Christmas party and emptying bank accounts to purchase every gift seems like the culturally correct thing to do, but it only saps energy and drains bank accounts leaving us spiritually dry."

"Find space in your family, your relationships, your worship, your celebrations, and, most of all, your heart for Jesus, the King of heaven who was born the infant son of Mary."

©2013 CORNERSTONE CHURCH

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LONG BEACH, CA 90815