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Make Room for Jesus

Make Room

Twice I have visited The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and it is a powerful experience. Many people are surprised to hear that visitors can stand in the cave that Jesus was likely born in. Some people hear that information and become skeptical because they believe Jesus was born in a barn, but that is probably not the case. That tradition arose from the mention in Luke 2:7 that Jesus was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for animals. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily imply that Jesus was born in a barn. During that period, it was customary for animals to be kept in homes or caves for their safety and care.
 
Others are skeptical of The Church of the Nativity because they doubt the preservation of history. Without maps, how could we possibly know where Jesus was born? Consider this: If Donald Trump visited a restaurant in Gillette, Wyoming (where he is very popular), that restaurant would put a sign up and brag to the world, “Donald Trump ate here.” This is actually how we know where Jesus did a lot of what He did. Generation after generation told their kids, “This is where Jesus ____.” Fill in the blank.
 
If the promised Messiah was born in your home, you would likely brag about it often. You might even build a tourist attraction, or at least a gift shop.
 
Last year, it was early release day at my son Lincoln’s school, and Lincoln’s terrible parents didn’t realize it. So, he had to sit out in the snow and wait for us to pick him up. Eventually a teacher walked up to Lincoln and asked, “Did your parents forget you?” He said, “Yeah.” She asked, “What’s your name, I’ll go call them.” Lincoln said, “You know who I am.” “No, I don’t. What’s your name?” “You know my name…I’m famous…” He got his ego from his mom.
 
The title “Messiah” or “Christ” would have made Jesus famous in ancient Israel.
 
This is one reason that Darci and I have chosen not to tell our kids that Santa Claus (as described in the modern-day fairytales) or any other fictional character is real. We want our children to know that if we tell them something, it is the truth. If we tell them Santa is real then they find out that he isn’t, will they assume that we also lied about Jesus? In a world where so many young people are leaving the Christian faith, I’m not willing to take the risk. We do tell our children the story of Saint Nicholas who was a devout Christian who gave generously to those in need.
 
The true story of Jesus’ birth is the story of a baby who was laid in a manger because His father’s relatives failed to prepare room for His family. God’s Son deserved to be born in a castle, but his beginning was humble.
[Mary] laid [Jesus] in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
Because there was no room for Jesus in the house, He was born among the animals. Mary’s family went home for the holiday, and their family didn’t prepare them room.
 
The famous Christmas song “Joy to the World” says, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room.” So, do we?
 
What does your Christmas schedule look like? In the Christmas season, do we focus primarily on Christ? Or do we fill our time with parties, shopping, and movies? It is wise for us to choose not to over-indulge on the things of this world so there is room to focus on Christ. Don’t wake up in the new year overly lethargic and tired because you bought all the stuff and ate all the stuffing. Don’t overeat in December because you plan to diet in January. Instead, prepare Him room.
 
I love how the song is worded: “prepare Him room.” That is so much better than “make room for Him.” “Make room” is a phrase that implies shoving everything to the side so that you can fit one more thing in. “Prepare room” is a phrase that implies a plan and a schedule. To prepare room for something, you will likely have to get rid of something else.
 
Many people who call themselves a “Christian” make at least a little room for Jesus in their lives. They want just enough Jesus to have an easier life. They think, “Okay God, I can squeeze you in…I’ll just pray on my way to work in the morning…I don’t need church or any of that other ‘organized religion’ stuff.”
 
John the Baptist told the world to prepare Him room.
Prepare the way for the Lord.
It’s not enough to prepare some time in your schedule for a weekly chat with God. He wants us to prepare room in our hearts, to love Him and sacrifice for Him. Let every heart prepare Him room. It’s about your heart. So many people recognize a need to have Jesus in their lives, but their hearts are so full of the worries of this world, they don’t have time to think about Heaven. They don’t make room for Jesus because they think this life is all there is, but this life is not all there is.
 
Someday you will stand before God to be judged. If He has to judge you based on how good you are, you will be found guilty. However, if you make room for Jesus in your heart, if you invite Him in, then on judgment day you won’t be judged based on your goodness. You will be judged based on Jesus’ goodness. God will see that you are in relationship with Jesus, and you will be forgiven, forgiven for everything.
 
Will you prepare room in your heart for Jesus today?
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