Olivia Dear Thames
Advent: December 14
And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 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.
There was no room in the inn for Mary and Joseph and the incoming Savior of the world. And many years later, it can feel like there is still no room.
We make room for endless commitments. We fit in the time to endlessly scroll on social media. We clear our shelves to add things we don’t need in a world that has so many needs. But we don’t always make room for Christ in the season that is supposed to be all about Him.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
He is knocking this Advent—and not just when you have a fun Christmas party going on inside.
That emptiness you feel when a loved one lets you down? An invitation to let Him in. That tug on your heart to not let gossip roll off your tongue? A call to choose what is better. That feeling you have when it feels like there is nobody to turn to? A beckoning from Him to call and cry and leave it as His feet.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “That is the greatest seriousness and the greatest blessedness of the Advent message. Christ stands at the door. He lives in the form of the person in our midst. Will you keep the door locked or open it to him?”
Making room looks like receiving the gift. It looks like putting down the pressures to perform and the striving for something more to realize that God Incarnate was born in a manger. It means realizing that in the traffic or in the grocery checkout line or whatever waiting period we find ourselves in, He is with us. It means pausing amidst all the yuletide rush to fix our eyes on what is eternal.
I don’t know about you, but making room for this sounds a lot better than whatever else is frantically occupying my attention: a frenzied mind, a full calendar, a pile of laundry that I aspire to fold but will probably just end up stuffing in my drawers.
He stands at the door and knocks. God, the creator of the universe, desires to spend time with you. He wants to hear your cries and your needs and your dreams. He longs for you to be His. The gift of Advent is nothing you to have to earn, but everything for you to receive.
In a world in which it can be so easy to close our doors to this part of Christmas and ignore the coming of Christ, let's open the doors. Let's bring Him into the celebration. Let's be still with Jesus. Today and this Advent, let's make room for the coming King.