Once in our world a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world. C.S. Lewis (The Last Battle)
I was driving a few weeks back, running through my Christmas list and listening to Noelby Chris Tomlin and Lauren Daigle. Listen below!
My favorite lyric in the song is, “Noel…come and see what God has done.” I instantly had a vision of a cramped and smelly stable and some animals coming in and out of the doorway. I imagined the night to be slightly humid, and since it’s in an arid landscape, I doubt the validity of snow and a wintery rush of air that you want to desperately picture. The atmosphere was prepped and the earth greatly rejoiced (Matthew 2:10), as the Savior of the world was quietly born on a hillside in Bethlehem. Can you imagine the display in heaven? Here He was- the Almighty-now on earth to save those He loves. To make a way for the lost sheep, the Shepherd and perfect Lamb was here. I started tearing up, overwhelmed by the very thought of undisputed love. I kept driving, playing the song on repeat and heard the Spirit say, “make room.”
Rewind to a few Christmases ago- I was at a Christmas party when I overheard someone say, “Why do people keep celebrating the same story every Christmas?” My heart sank. I didn’t know whether to jump up on my soapbox, shake my head passively or cry. I sat in silence, stunned, as I heard someone else give their best answer, and wondered if I could possibly do the same. I was born and raised in the church, study my bible daily and try to live a holistically good life. But here I was, completely derailed by a question that should be a no-brainer for me. As much failure as I was feeling, I felt a weight of desperation for my friend.
It’s easy to meander through the holidays, get from point A to point B and check our list twice. I feel my best during the holidays when I’m fighting traffic, blaring Michael Buble’s Christmas album and pushing through a headache, praying I can find the perfect gift. I fail to take a second each Christmas to just think about the season. I know what the season’s about, so I keep it in my heart and let it bubble up every now and again. I forget that not everyone has a deeper connection to a Hobby Lobby pillow with “Fall on your knees” printed on it or a nativity that has the whole scene on display. I take it all for granted, wrap my presents, go to the Christmas service and sing my songs…but I was challenged this year to stop, look and see.
As I listened that chilly day to Noel over and over, and heard in the days thereafter, “make room,” I found myself more overwhelmed by this season. 2017 has had its fair share of trials for me- it’s been a weird, crazy year with what on the outside might seem bleak and unchanging to some. But when I really stop to reflect on this year, I inwardly see growth, strength, and room. Room for more of God’s glory, His heart, and His will. After a year of pruning and purging, it makes sense to look at the end of it all and see empty spaces from the transitions that need to be filled with only Christ.
This holiday season I pray you to find room in your heart, mind, and soul. And I pray that if you don’t feel like you have any, you let God invade your spaces. Friend, the inn had no room because God knew there needed to be enough room in a stable for the lost and broken ones. He beckons us each season to “come and see” what hope, grace, love, and mercy is, and how He makes room in our hearts for more. That’s the answer to the question I heard three years ago, and that’s why we celebrate each year.
To repeat the C.S. Lewis quote above:
Once in our world a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.
I’ll end on the greatest paradigm of all; The world itself had to make room, and yet He freely welcomes us into the space of the stable. What greater a Christmas gift is that?!
Merry Christmas, friend!