1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed….
3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Over the last couple weeks I’ve been doing something that is definitely in my top ten most hated things to do: Moving.
But as I’ve been moving I’ve discovered two very important things. First, I have entirely too much junk. Over the course of moving I’ve thrown away literally 15 bags of trash or things I just don’t care about anymore, given away 8 bags of clothes I’ll never wear again that were just taking up space, and cleaned out stuff I’ve been carrying around with me from when I was in grade school!
And second, I need to prepare a place for the one that I love. I’m about to get married, and the biggest thing about getting married is that it means you’re going to share your life with someone. But how do you share your life with someone when it’s already full of junk? You have to dig it out and throw it away. You have to prepare a space for them to be in your life. And really, everything else in your life needs to fit around them – if something is going to conflict with your marriage relationship, then it needs to go, that’s how important marriage should be!
And here’s how this all ties into the birth of Jesus. That last little line of Luke 2:7 – she “laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Back in the 1300’s there was a guy named Thomas a Kempis, and he said “Christ will come to you, and impart his consolations to you, if you prepare a worthy dwelling for Him in your heart.” He was pointing out that we let so much junk into our hearts that it crowds out Jesus. We need to clean house so to speak.
Jesus wants to make his dwelling in our hearts, he wants to be with us, and he wants to be in a relationship with us that is deeper than any marriage. But we walk around with entirely too much junk in our hearts and we don’t take the time to prepare a place for him. Like the people of Bethlehem, there’s often just no room for Jesus in our hearts.
So this Christmas, take the time and energy to prepare a place for Jesus in your heart, and get rid of some of the junk that’s crowding him out!