The night of His birth, Mary and Joseph couldn’t find a place in Bethlehem to deliver the Deliverer.
We don’t know the reasons people gave to shut the door on Mary and Joseph, but none of them are admirable. Perhaps they were appalled by the rumors of Joseph’s illegitimate child. Perhaps they were afraid to allow immigrants into their home. Or perhaps they just didn’t want to clean up after her labor. Whatever their reasons, it was good enough to convince themselves to turn away the teenager having contractions on their doorstep.
Among the many messages of the Christmas story is the idea that you do not invite God; it’s God who comes to you. As Thomas Merton says, “Christ comes uninvited.” You can either welcome His interruption or find a convenient reason to turn His interruption away.
This year, rethink the way you Christmas and make room for the interruption.
Spend thirty minutes with Your God today. I know it’s an interruption. I know it’s Christmas Eve. You’ve got good reasons to say no, but so did the bothered people in Bethlehem. Don’t make the last-minute dash to Wal-Mart. Turn off the Hallmark marathon. “Making room” means something’s gotta’ move.
Then, as you open room for your King, open your Bible to Luke 1 & 2 and read about His arrival. (It’s about a 10 minute read-time.) Spend a few minutes reflecting on the events. Ask God to reveal something about you, about people, or about Himself in the account.
When you prepare for Christmas by making room at the last minute, you’ll see Christmas through the eyes of those fortunate enough to be interrupted.
“I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”
What does today’s reading tell you about people? (Yourself and others.)
What does today’s reading tell you about God?
How do these ideas change the way you Christmas this year?