Is there room for Christ in your Christmas?

christmas 1The night of Jesus birth was pretty intense for Mary.

I mean can you imagine? She has never been with a man. She is a young girl who is miserably pregnant (for we all know what that last month is like) and she has to go with Joseph to Bethlehem to be counted.

If that wasn’t bad enough, when they finally arrive after the long journey, tired and weary. Just longing for a place to rest, they come to find that there is “no room” for them.

When my husband and I first married, we pastored a small church in Arkansas. The people were wonderful, but it was quite the experience for us fresh seminary grads. But I still remember that Christmas like it was yesterday.

You see, my uncle was a member of this church and earlier that summer, he had been diagnosed with cancer. He tried all the medicines and did all the doctors said, but in the end the Lord called him home. Our church was having its Christmas party at a dear couple’s home. When in the midst of the celebration, the phone rang. Quickly the mood turned from joy to grief. As we were confronted with the news that my uncle had passed away.

That Christmas was unique in that in the midst of celebrating the “birth” of Christ, we were also mourning the “death” of my uncle. Though the funeral home was decorated for Christmas and carols were sung, it was still a grievous time.

Yet, that Christmas my husband preached a message I never soon forgot. He preached on the birth of Christ and whether we had made room for Christ in our lives, our homes, our Christmas.

Now many years later, we are serving in Central Asia as missionaries. And even without all the hustle and bustle “American Christmas” brings, it is really easy to squeeze Christ out. To forget or be so busy with other things, that Christ has no room.

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind, and now Christmas is only 11 days away. And to be honest it feels nothing like Christmas. There are no lights to drive around to see, no caroling, and no supplies to do the “Christmas baking” I usually do with my mom.

If I’m not careful, I can quickly push Jesus out and fill my days with other things, not making time or room for His presence.

That Christmas long ago, we knew and experienced Christ presence as we made room for Him in the midst of tragedy. See, we knew that my uncle was no longer in pain. We knew He was with the Lord and we could celebrate.

The night of Jesus birth, though long and weary for Mary and Joseph. Was a night in which Mary pondered for many years to come. Though a young, virgin girl, she had been chosen to give birth to Jesus. And though there seemed to be no room for Him that night, He was welcomed by the voices of angels. Greeted by the shepherds and His star led the wise men to find Him.

So I want to challenge you as the Lord has challenged me, “Make sure you make room for Christ this Christmas.”

Though there is much to do, stop and remember why you do these things.

Though you are making your list and checking them twice, stop and sing the carols as you do.

Though life is busier this time of year than any other, stop and make sure you worship Jesus.

I’m learning that unless this is intentional. Unless you make the time, focus on the Christ Child, then all the hustle and bustle can win.

And suddenly Christmas has come and gone.

Do you have room for Christ in your life this year? Do you have room for Christ in your family? In your Christmas?

As you look to the New Year, have you vowed to make Christ your aim? To live for Him?

Let us be intentional.

Let us focus on Jesus.

May He not only find room in our homes, families, marriages, Christmas, New Year’s… May He be Preeminent in all the above and more.

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