In the days before the telephone, let alone the Internet, there was no possibility of Mary and Joseph booking a room with relatives, or any place at all in Bethlehem. The Roman census had meant everywhere was crammed full of people. All the guest rooms were taken, and no-one was prepared to give up their comfortable quarters, even for a young mother about to give birth, especially if it meant sleeping with the animals. “Sorry, no guest rooms available at all. Best we can do is for you is to stay in the stable. At least it will be dry.” I wonder if the occupants of the guest rooms would have changed their minds if they had been told that this young woman was going to give birth to the Saviour of the world, the long-awaited Messiah, God Himself?
It seems to me that, in this increasingly secular world of ours, there’s less and less room for Jesus. In fact, a growing number of people now wouldn’t even allow Jesus to stay with the animals. They would want Him out of everything one can possibly think of, including Christmas celebrations.
How much room do you have for Jesus, dear reader? Do you have the best room, the guest room or the stable? How much room will you allow Him in your life? Has that space increased or decreased over the past year or ten years or more? Jesus wants all the room in our lives, not just a part, not just a casual reading of the Bible, an occasional visit to Church, regular attendance at Church, or even prayer. He wants all our lives, every last bit of them. That’s what it means when we declare Jesus is Lord. That puts Him in first place. In fact, He is either Lord of all, or He isn’t Lord at all. Challenging, isn’t it?
This Christmas let’s make a choice that we’re going to give Jesus the best room, all the room, in our lives. He deserves the very best.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of salvation You’ve freely given me. You deserve all the room in my life. Forgive me if there have been times when I have moved you into the guest quarters, or even consigned you to the stable. This Christmas, help me to put You front and centre in everything I do. You deserve the very best. Amen.
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