Making Room

Advent is a season of celebratory expectation. It’s full of symbolism that I believe is intended to remind us that God is both already present and constantly coming into our world. I can think of few other stories that convey this idea more powerfully than the birth of Jesus, who would come to be known as the Christ. The nativity of Jesus is about every birth as God’s way of renewing hope and love to bring about peace and joy on Earth.

Most of us know the story of Joseph and Mary. We probably envision them walking from inn to inn, only to have every door slammed in their faces. However, this idea seems to be a result of modern thinking. In Luke, 
there is only one line about Joseph and Mary looking for a place for her to give birth: “She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room available for them.” Matthew doesn’t mention inns—full or otherwise, at all.
There are several reasons Luke has Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem, but I think we too often gloss over the fact that, in his story there was no room at the inn. More importantly, us modern folk have made the story all about Joseph and Mary getting doors slammed in their faces. As usual, I think we’ve missed the point and are focusing on the wrong aspect of this scripture. I think Luke creates “no vacancy” signs throughout Bethlehem because he wants us to realize, despite the outer appearance and all the signs, there is room at the inn.

Ultimately, one innkeeper says, “I’m so sorry. Like the others in town, my rooms are all booked. However, there is space in my stable if you’d like to rest there. We’ll make you as comfortable as possible. I’ll find room for you.” Perhaps Luke’s point was not for us to focus on the idea there wasn’t any room. Rather, there’s always room if we’re looking for it. And this is important concerning Jesus’ birth because Jesus, and all he represents—hope, peace, joy, love, and ultimate human/God connection—is there for us if we make room for it.

So this Advent season our theme at The Current is There’s Room. There’s Room for hope, peace, love, joy and Christ. Throughout the season, we’ll sing songs, read scripture, and think about what it means for each of us as the keepers of our own inns to make room for Jesus, and all he has to offer us. For it is only in making room for the spiritual that we can grow spiritually. It is only in understanding the importance of opening our doors that our own doors are also opened. Let’s prepare and make room.

Meditation: Help me find the room to say yes when God is knocking at my door and asking to come inside.

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