Recently, we went to an outdoor, live nativity. I felt that familiar Christmas lump rising up in my throat, as the actors played the parts of the familiar characters. A REAL BABY played the part of Jesus, in swaddling cloths. So precious.
As I sat there on the risers, in my parka, I kept thinking about the night of Jesus’ birth. The animals would have been hurriedly led away from the feeding troughs to make room for their overnight guests. Because a REAL BABY was coming soon!
They had to prepare him room.
All these year’s later, Christmas is still about preparing room. It’s not about filling rooms, or boxes or plates with more. It’s not about preparing dinner, preparing the tree, preparing the gift wrap, or even preparing the worship service you might help lead.
Christmas is about preparing room — a contradiction to a world that constantly crowds out the best, in favor of the loudest. Let’s prepare room, because a REAL BABY is coming soon.
Every year, I love to sing “Joy to the World.” The song includes one of my favorite lyrics of all the Christmas carols: “Let every heart prepare Him room.”
Christmas is about removing the clutter in our hearts and lives to prepare Him room. At Christmas time, less is more.
Look to the manger for proof. See the sacred smallness of a barn in Bethlehem. Our Savior did not come to earth with great fanfare. His birth wasn’t advertised alongside the Black Friday specials from Best Buy. He came quietly, like a whisper, into the humblest of places… into a barn.
Less is more.
Christmas is an opportunity to begin again, to believe that less is more. When we clear away the clutter from our lives and our hearts, we prepare Him room – not just for a season, not just for one Christmas, not just for one night…, but for a life. For a REAL BABY.
And that REAL BABY grew up to die for us, leaving us with a promise. “I will prepare a place for you.”