One of the things we learn as we read Luke 2 and prepare for Christmas is that the city of Bethlehem was filled with visitors. Everybody and their brother had shown up to be counted for the census. Unfortunately, Joseph didn’t have access to Yelp or Hotels.com or some other source to call ahead for a room. He simply had to keep walking, a walk that took two weeks, with his very uncomfortable, very pregnant wife and somehow reassure her that he would take care of things once they got to town. The problem was that everybody else had the same idea. Every five star hotel and B&B was booked. Every neighborhood already had taken in the rest of the wayfarer’s through their air b&b’s. So, there they were, Joe and Mary, going from door to door asking if anyone still had room?
Having had three children myself, I remember what it was like those last anxious days of waiting for the moment when the pains of giving birth would begin. I remember that all I had to do was call my husband, call the doctor,and head to the hospital. A room was already prepared for me. The interesting thing is that I was nobody special, just one more woman giving birth to a baby. When I think of Mary though and try to relate to her thoughts as they walked wearily along or as she rode on the back of a donkey, flinching with every step, hoping God had a plan, it must have been frightening indeed. It must have made her wonder what she had gotten into.
Coming back into the current age, to the house where you live, I wonder if you have given any thought to whether or not you’ll have room if Mary and Joseph knock on your door. Will you have room for the baby Jesus to come into your home and into your heart? At Christmastime, we are filled with a divine spirit of love and most of us do everything we can to reach out to friends and neighbors and our families. We invite people into our lives and into our homes to share warm conversation and sparkling Christmas trees.
This year, as you open up your home to the people around you, give one more thought to what you’ve done to prepare for the baby Jesus to be born in your heart anew. Look around your house and see if you still have room for Him and for His family. Open the door to His love and offer the gift of His presence to everyone you can. The nice thing is that it’s never too late. He just wants to know if you still have room for Him. “O, come, let us adore Him!”
Thanks for giving room to all the people you love this holiday season.