Thursday, December 12, 2013

Is There Room in the Inn?

I was driving down the road the other day and saw a sign on a local church that read “You have your elf on the shelf, but where is your Jesus?”  I spent the rest of the drive home thinking about that sign.  Although we don’t have an elf, I had to wonder, Where is my Jesus?   

My family is currently on a temporary work assignment 2,000 miles from our home.  We came with a few necessities but not much else—mostly clothes and bedding.  There was certainly not room for Christmas decorations, and it occurred to me the other day that I don’t even have my children’s Christmas stockings for them to put out on Christmas Eve.  I have struggled with my emotions thinking that I should be in my home, decorating my tree, with my decorations!  Christmas is only a few weeks away and I have been wondering  how I  am going to make this Christmas special for my houseful of children, without the things they are accustomed to?  I spent a few days feeling sorry for myself and then I realized, I need a change of heart.   The thought that keeps going through my head is one brought to my attention by a Sunday School teacher many years ago.   “Do you make room for Christ in your life or is there no room in the inn?”   I think that is why the church’s sign caught my attention --I need to make more room for Christ in my life and not be as the inn keeper, who couldn’t make room for Mary and Joseph to bring Jesus into the world. 

My whole life I have been told “Christmas is not about things,” and although intellectually I know that, I wonder if I have ever really lived it.  There certainly have been Christmas mornings where there has been little under the tree, and as I think about it, those are the years I looked harder for the Christmas spirit.  Making room in the inn really means making room in my heart for Christ.   I have a great opportunity this year to custom-make Christmas.  I spent this week making a giant felt Nativity set so my kids could sit and play with the Nativity characters and retell the Christmas story over and over.   We will spend time together as a family making paper decorations, custom-made to point us to Christ.  Our Christmas tree will be covered with paper stars that represent the star of Bethlehem, candy canes that will remind us of the shepherd’s crook, and paper chains which remind us that we are bound together as a family because of the love of Jesus Christ.   I guess it is a blessing that my snowman collection and my family ornaments are still packed away under the stairs far away, because this Christmas is going to be one where we make memories.   This Christmas is going to be the year that we slow things down and really focus on what is important about the season--making room in the inn.  

Published by Guest Blogger: Syd

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