Last year, exactly a year ago, I gave birth to our son in the emergency waiting room at our local hospital. After begging over and over again to be helped I repeatedly heard, “Sit down, there is no room for you.” Pregnant, scared and in pain, I did what I was told. I could never have envisioned what awaited us. It wouldn’t be until the next day, when I was home, that I would relate my experiences to that of our Blessed Mother as Joseph tried to find a room for her in Bethlehem.
When I think of the Christmas story and how Mary and Joseph were turned away because there was no room at the inn I can’t help but think now of our own experiences. Just days before Christmas our son would be born in a place that I could never have thought we would be delivering a child. I’m sure as Mary and Joseph settled down in the stable and gave birth to Jesus, they also could not comprehend why they were turned away and why their son had to be born amongst the animals in the stable. Still, they rejoiced the birth of their son.
When I look past our own story I think about why there was no room for Christ to be born in the inn. I often wonder if this was also to foreshadow how some would then go on to treat Jesus, both then and now… repeatedly turning him away because they have “no room” for him.
Why would someone turn away Jesus? Why can’t we make room for him? Sometimes there are reasons that make us wonder if God is even there with us. It would have been so easy to turn away from God during our heartache. It would have been easy to say, “There is no room here for you.” The harder choice was to continue to provide a place for Christ in our lives. Other times people are too busy. Still other times some may not want Christ in their lives. It’s easy to hang up that “no room” sign and forget about him altogether.
During Advent we are called to dive deeper into our faith, to make room for Jesus, to anticipate his coming. Our website has given us many ideas and activities we can do to accomplish those things. But what about those people who still insist there is no room in their hearts for Christ? What do we do about them? One of the best things we can do is to pray for them. Pray that they will open their hearts and seek Jesus. Pray that those fears, those doubts, those insecurities will be overcome. We need to reach out to them through our actions and our words. We can show them that we are there for them and that we carry Christ’s love for them as well. Hopefully, through the love that shines through us they will find the love of Christ as well.
During this Advent season, but also throughout the entire year, I challenge you to remove that “No Room” sign and allow Christ into your heart. Trust him in both the good times and the bad. Don’t shut him out and don’t turn him away. If you know someone who has a sign permanently hung by their door show them Jesus’ love and kindness. Show them through your words and actions just how wonderful it is to host the King of Kings within your heart. Perhaps they will remove that sign that says, “No Room” and they will welcome him as well.