Make Room for Jesus

Christmas has recently past, and we’ve probably all read or heard the birth story of Jesus from Luke:

“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.” Luke 2:7

Bethlehem was a busy place at that time because of the census.  Everyone had to report to the town or city of their forefathers, and in the case of Joseph and Mary, this was Bethlehem, the city of David.  You couldn’t book ahead in those days, and when they arrived no rooms were available.

This made me think of the busy lives we all lead today.  When we’re young we have school and all those extra-curricular activities we need to fill up the college resumes, not to mention keeping up with friends via social media accounts.  We get a little older and there’s work and kids.  Even after retirement we may find ourselves caring for an elderly parent, or a spouse.  It’s easy to find ourselves in a place where we’re failing to make room for Jesus.

When we do this, we’re allowing what’s immediate to interfere with what’s really important.  A friend of mine said, “if I make time for food for my body, shouldn’t I also make time for the food that nourishes my soul?”  This is so true.

Every day we make choices, and we make time for the things that we’re most interested in   If we’re passionate about something — cooking, reading, sports or a hobby — we find a way to fit it into our schedule.  That’s okay, but shouldn’t we also be passionate about our faith?  Couldn’t we give up some time in front of the tv or computer, or even some sleep to read the Bible or pray?  Couldn’t we manage to spend an hour on Sunday morning attending worship?

If you’re not making room for Jesus, make it your priority for 2021.  It’s one investment you won’t regret, because the dividends last an eternity!

For more about making time for Jesus see:

Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown — Book Review

Fanning the Flame #16 Personal Spiritual Discipline

Developing Spiritual Habits


When God Says Stop

“Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

As I write this,  I’m sitting here watching it snow for the second day in a row.  There will be no Lenten Service tonight;  I can’t go to the grocery store or the library;  I can’t visit a friend. I’ve finished all my usual household chores.  I’m stuck at home and there’s not a thing I can do about it.

Have you ever noticed how sometimes God, through our circumstances, just makes us stop?  It may come in the form of weather, but it may also be an injury or illness.  It may be that, as my friend Rob says, “all the wheels fall off the cart.”  Things happen that are out of our control, and we can’t keep going in our usual direction. We get a big dose of humility.  We have to stop.

Times like this are good opportunities to be still and listen.  Maybe we’re trying too hard.  Maybe God has another plan.  Maybe He just wants us to make time for Him– for prayer, for meditation, to give thanks, to consider our blessings.  It’s a time to remember that we’re not really in control, even when we’re racing around acting like we are.

Sometimes we just need to stop.  I guess I should consider doing that on my own, instead of waiting for God to do it for me.  What about you?  Do you need to stop for a day, an hour or even ten minutes and listen to God?