I’ve been reflecting on the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas week to keep myself focused on the real Celebrant amid the busyness and noisiness surrounding the season. Yesterday I did a Lectio Divina (divine reflection) on the apostle Luke’s account on Jesus’ birth in chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke. Reading the chapter slowly, I listened to the words speak to me quietly. I began with verses 1 to 7. As I read the passage again and again, the phrase that kept stirring my heart is “no room”.
Jesus was born in a manger because there was “no room for them in the inn” (verse 7). There was no room for the One “through whom all things were made” (John 1:3). God the Son, the co-Creator of heaven and earth came to the world, but the world did not recognize him and had no room for him.
From the day he was born and throughout his life until his final breath, Jesus experienced the reality of having “no room” — in his hometown, among his own people, in the world. How unfortunate that the world had no room for the One it needed the most — the Savior who came to save us from our helpless sinful state!
I can’t help but wonder how Jesus feels about how Christmas was celebrated all over the world. Amidst the overeating, overdrinking, overspending, over-partying by most of us, I had to stop and ask myself: Was there room for Christ in the households that feasted on lavish food and exchanged expensive gifts? Was there room for him in the extravagant Christmas parties and family reunions? Was there room for him in the Christmas concerts and carollings? Was there room for him in our spirited conversations and hearty laughter? Was there ever room for him in this most-awaited occasion of the year we call CHRISTmas?
I’m grateful that by the grace of God, I had the opportunity to open the door of my heart to Jesus on that Christmas of 1975, when I received him as my Saviour and Lord. My heart became his room, my body his temple. My life now belongs to him — to transform, rule, and use for his purpose. Still, I have to admit that there were days in 2012 spent for myself alone — when there was no room for Jesus in my schedule or in the choices I made. Yet He remained faithful, and loving, and true. He has kept his promise to never leave me nor forsake me.
This Christmas season and in the coming year, may we give Jesus his rightful place in our lives. May it not be said of us that “there was no room” for Jesus in our hearts.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (the words of Jesus in the book of Revelation, chapter 3, verse 20).