Written: 12/21/15; edited 12/15/22
I don’t know about you, but…
Granted, it’s 70 freakin’ degrees and our only hope for a white Christmas lies in a water and sodium polyacrylate amalgamation (thanks, El Niño blowtorch).Then again…it’s not like Christmas hinges on what can be tangibly felt…be it an emotion, a moment, or an unfavorable teleconnection with ridging tendencies.
Of course, you know me; I could go on about the Grinch-like weather and other seasonal interferences like a mopey cotton-headed ninny muggins. But I figure:
- Nobody got time for that and…
- There’s way too much goodness worth discussing.
‘Cause while the weather outside is NOT frightful…with certain situations far from delightful…truth is: God has given us a place that is rightful…where all is still well and all is still bright.
But perhaps you’re like many who aren’t feeling so hot right now, fatigued from a difficult year and/or stressed by the perilous times in which we live.If so, then I encourage you: take heart…for you are not (or ever) alone…nor are you hopeless, helpless…or unworthy of receiving the kind of rest and peace this time of year has to offer.
‘Cause when we talk about Christmas, we’re not talking about some annual tradition, a candlelit spectacle, or an excuse to be off work. Rather, we’re talking about an expectant hope made possible by God who has set things right for us (Jeremiah 33:16), who remains true to His promises…all the while giving us a reason to know joy and fear not.
Thus, when we pause to consider what Christmas really means, we ultimately set ourselves up to look up…and experience a joy that merges with a peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:6-7).
Consider the innkeeper in Luke 2…a character in the birth narrative who gets a bad rap due, in part, to his lack of mention. As a kid, I had this idea that the innkeeper was this snarky, Arab Ken Jeong type who opened the door, glanced at Mary and Joseph, and blared, ‘No room for you’… only to slam the door in their face.
But as I’ve revisited the story in recent years, I’ve come to realize the innkeeper was not only fulfilling his part in the prophecy (Micah 5:2), but was also doing his best to extend joy into Mary and Joseph’s situation through hospitality.
You see…at this point in the narrative, we often underestimate the contrast between what was being felt versus what was being done.Personally, I believe the innkeeper was being true to his word (i.e. ‘there’s no room in the inn’), based on the time of the day, the time of year…plus you never lie to a pregnant woman who’s dilating on a donkey.
Yet, while it’s very brief in text, what the innkeeper does between the lines in offering his only ‘stable’ option is actually super profound.
‘Cause what he did, in purest essence…was prepare Him room (i.e. He offered the only thing he could offer in the moment, wrapped it with humble honesty…and counted it all joy).So when you think about it…the innkeeper, despite his minor role, captures what Christmas (and joy for that matter) is all about: being intentional in making room for Jesus in the midst of our chaos…and laying our burdens before the Lord so that the voids left behind can be filled with expressions of honor.
I love this short put out a few years back from The Skit Guys…
Per the above, I encourage you, my friends, to consider your Christmas contribution to Jesus this year…whether it be your time, your walls, your fears…and to seal it by preparing Him room in your hearts…all for the sake of saying, ‘Jesus, you are my joy, the answer to life…and the reason for the season.’For when you ready yourself to receive Christ, you repeat the sounding joy by also receiving the continuous outflow of His blessings and grace…which is exactly why God sent His only begotten Son in the first place.
On behalf of Lyssah & I, we want want to wish you a very…
Cover graphic creds: Subsplash