Christmas creates all sorts of feelings. Just hearing the word “Christmas” can stir all sorts of emotions. What my wife would call “warm fuzzies” seem to be the center of Christmas for the majority of the world. It is about a feeling. It is about emotions. It is about all the warm fuzzies that the holiday season has to offer.
As I was reading through Luke 2 recently, I noticed that there was no room for the family at the time of Jesus birth. There was not a place for them to stay. Of course, we all know this from the children’s plays at church in which the Innkeeper says, “I’m sorry Joseph, but we are all packed out here tonight.” In the words of Scripture, “there was no place for them” (Luke 2:7). Sometimes, when something is familiar, we tend to miss the significance and beauty of it. I know that I miss the significance and beauty of living in Arkansas, nicknamed “The Natural State.” We have some great hiking, canoeing, and wonderful outdoors. Yet, I take it all for granted that people travel from all over the nation and even the world to gaze upon the natural beauty of the Natural State.
These words, “there was no place for them,” seemed to leap off the page and penetrate the depths of my heart. The truth of the matter is that this phrase is not new. The world had no place–no room–for Jesus. The world had not had a place–no room–for God for a while. There was no room for God in the hearts of Adam and Eve and humanity has not changed. The world was occupied. The world was full. There was no place for the Creator to be welcomed into His creation. Priorities were set and Jesus was not among them.
Though the world had no place for Jesus, Jesus had a place for the world.
If we fast-forward toward the latter days of Jesus’s life, we hear his words of hope and love. We hear his grace as he accepts those who denied him, “I go and prepare a place for you” (John 14:3). Though the creation continues to disassociate with the Creator, the Creator continues to associate with creation. These are words of love from a Creator who loves His creation, despite their loathing of Him.
Christmas may create all sorts of feelings, emotions, and warm fuzzies. But we can only truly celebrate Christmas when our heart has prepared Him room. As we sing Joy to the World and come to the line, “Let every heart prepare him room,” may we sing not words on a screen but a truth from the depths of our hearts. Only when we have truly prepared Him room can we experience Joy to the World.
Rest in this, though the world has no room for Jesus, Jesus has room for the world.