By: Rex Stump
At Christmas time, we decorate with greater intensity than any other holiday. Wreaths, trees, poinsettias, lights, candles, wall hangings, and more!
Each family has their own favorite decoration and traditional style of decorating. One of the most beloved decorations is the nativity scene.
Joseph, Mary, animals, and shepherds, all gathered and facing towards the center of the scene where the manger and baby Jesus are placed.
It’s not always the brightest or most brilliant of Christmas decorations. It is more of a sentimental and touching decoration that reminds of the true meaning of Christmas.
As special as the nativity scene may be, it also presents a picture of the sadness of mankind’s state of the heart.
The nativity scene reminds us that Jesus was born in an uncomfortable place and unconventional manner, because there was no room in an inn. In the Christmas carol, “Thou Didst Leave They Throne” we sing,
Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown, When Thou camest to earth for me; But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room, For Thy holy nativity.
The next four verses speak to Jesus having no place to stay, even referencing Matthew 8:20, “But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
Because every house and inn were full, because every bed was taken and slept in, Jesus was born in a stable.
It doesn’t seem right that Heaven’s royalty, God in the flesh, should come to earth and not be welcomed in. But that’s the story of God’s love and man’s inability to recognize grace and mercy.
How full have our lives become? Are we overscheduled with work, hobbies, or habits that clutter our lives, leaving no room for Jesus?
When we look at our daily schedules, do we have room for Jesus? Do we prioritize building our relationship with Him, devotional time, and worship?
The chorus in the carol continues, “O come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for Thee.”
Can we sing that song with conviction and honesty? Is there room in our hearts for Jesus? Or do we need to declutter our lives and hearts? Is there sin to be confessed or habits to be ceased?
How can you make room for Jesus this Christmas? Don’t wait till December 25th, and don’t make it a one-day event. Making room for Jesus is a life journey, not a holiday season.
Rex Stump is the Area Director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and serves as a Pastor at True North Church in Wauseon, Ohio.