The real Christmas was nothing like the Christmas we’ve come to know, with its traditions, memories, and legends. It was a desperate moment that occurred for a desperate reason. (Jon Bloom, Prepare Him Room)
We were the desperate reason–our sinfulness, our waywardness, and our inability to bridge the chasm between us and our Creator
They set the stage for the desperate moment. A teen mom, wrapping her baby in blood smeared clothes, and laying him in feeding trough. No new onesies washed at home in Dreft and brought to a (clean, sanitary) hospital. No soft hat knit by volunteers to keep that precious fuzzy head warm against the Bethlehem night & the drafts whisking through the stable. No nurses to bring Mary ice chips and warm blankets while the baby was gently washed in warm water and Johnson’s baby soap. The scene could have been improved, at least a bit, if an innkeeper had found a room.
It is easy to shake my head at the innkeepers who turned away Joseph & Mary, but in my heart, I know I would have, likely, done the same. In the bustle of a busy business, I would not have expected the promised Messiah to come on a night like that, to a place such as Bethlehem, through a simple teen momma.
I was not in Bethlehem, but with the hindsight that those innkeepers may have wished for, I can make Him room. I can choose not to turn Him away as advent begins.
If you’re like me, you’re already making lists, planning menus, and tying bows. Our tree is up; in the dark of the early morning, I study my Bible in the glow of its twinkle lights. My Christmas cards are waiting for addresses & stamps, and I’m already planning treats to bake with my girls for our neighbors.
But, if I am not diligent & careful I can get caught up and miss making Him room.
And, mommas, if we don’t make room for Him this season, how can our children? Notice, we aren’t to find room, or wait for room to open up this season. We are to make Him room–it is intentional and requires energy.
If we don’t make room to relish in God’s best gift to us, how will our children? The gifts you’ve budgeted and shopped for are to be a tiny reflection of the greatest gift ever given. Our twinkling trees are to remind us, “the people walking in darkness have seen a great light…” (Isaiah 9:2) I know you want your child to walk away from Christmas with more than new toys–I want my people to walk into January with a deeper understanding of God’s magnificent love for each of them.
So, mommas, in the middle of the teacher gifts, family parties, stocking stuffers, and service projects, let’s make lots of room for Jesus. Let us diligently point or children’s eyes & hearts to the best gift and our desperate need for it.
Here are some ways to help you & your children prepare Him room:
1. Truth in the Tinsel: this is a fabulous e-book (7.99) that will help you and your children mediate on the scriptures for 24 days leading up to Christmas in a way that is designed just for them.
3. Advent wreath: it may be a fun project to make your own advent wreath as a family; or perhaps you just want to find a nice spot for four candles. I grew up in a church with advent readings and have such a love for the language and liturgy, but I have struggled with making it accessible for our children. So, this year, I consulted a variety of advent readings and created a Family Friendly Advent Wreath reading–they are short, clear, and even have some optional (no-prep) activities. It is absolutely free for my subscribers–if you are already a subscriber, it’ll be in your inbox. If you aren’t, subscribe here, and you’ll have it in time to start tomorrow!
4. Visit a Live Nativity in your area–this provides an excellent opportunity for questions and discussion throughout the season.
What are you doing to make Him room this advent season?