And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
- Luke 2:7
Certainly God could have made sure there was a room available for Jesus in Bethlehem. But somehow it seems appropriate that Jesus’ life on this planet begins in a town jam-packed with people and full of activity, but empty of a room for Jesus.
Our lives can no doubt look a bit like Bethlehem. We can certainly find ourselves filled up with activity. We can find ourselves doing many thing – even many good things – but not making room for the most important things. And while most of us don’t openly refuse Jesus, truth be told, we can find ourselves in seasons where we have no room for him.
I think the fact that God doesn’t make room for Jesus points to how God works in our lives.
In Revelation 3:20, we are told that Jesus stands at the door and knocks. The picture is that of a God who waits for us to open the door and invite him into our lives. So Jesus isn’t a God who forces himself on us. He doesn’t move into areas of our lives where he is unwanted. He doesn’t badger us to make room in our schedules for him. He doesn’t guilt us into a relationship. After all, he isn’t the one who needs us; we need him. So he knocks and then he patiently waits to see if there is room for him to enter.
If we want Jesus to enter our lives, we have to make room for him. Making room for Jesus may mean clearing other things out of our schedules. It may mean saying no to good things, so we can say yes to cultivating our relationship with Jesus by reading his Word and talking to him in prayer. It may mean saying no to a certain sin that we know clutters up our lives. It may mean saying yes to transparency and vulnerability in prayer.
It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give Jesus a room. He is always with us, always knocking, always asking for room in our hearts.
So today, think of your life as an inn and imagine that Jesus wants to come in.
Is there room in your life for him?
If not, ask Jesus to show you what needs to be moved out of your life.
Then courageously make the changes in your schedule. Say no. Create space. Leave room for some quiet times to focus on Jesus, not just during Christmas, but all year long.