“She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” ~ Luke 2:7
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Mary and Joseph weren’t looking for an inn to stay in. The word we’ve taken to mean “inn” would be better translated as “guest room”. So apparently the image I’ve been carrying around with me all my life of Joseph and Mary going to the HoJo and seeing a No Vacancy sign and then crashing in a stable out back – that image is probably wrong. It was probably more of an Air BnB type scenario, where they were looking for somebody who had an extra room in their house and settled for the manger instead.
In this day and age, we have extra rooms for days. I joke about Air BnB, but a whole industry has sprung up around the idea of people having extra bedrooms in their homes from people to stay in.
What we lack today is not space. It is time. We pack our days with work and meetings and errands and after school activities. Then we get home and we don’t just watch TV – we binge watch TV. And every second in between – every available moment – is spent looking at our phones, checking emails and social media statuses.
Christmas is even worse. We have Christmas parties and school programs and family gatherings. While we’d have no problem letting Joseph and Mary use a spare bedroom, we wouldn’t even know they were here because we’d be too busy.
This Christmas season, try a little experiment. Make some room in your schedule for God. I’m not asking you to miss anything important like work or school. I’m not even suggesting you skip any Christmas parties or family gatherings. But if you’re deliberate about it, you can capture a few of those spare moments.
Instead of watching yet another episode of that mindless sitcom, spend a few minutes in the Word, maybe reading the Christmas story in Luke. Instead of checking your emails while you wait to check out at the grocery store, spend some time in prayer. Reflect on why we celebrate Christmas. Ask God to place people in your life and give you opportunities to share his love with others.
Make room for love in your life. Any time spent with God is time well spent.