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  • Holly Manohar

Making Room for Jesus


Each year, my husband sets up a nativity scene that he makes himself with materials he finds in nature. He finds a place in the home and spends a couple days making an elaborate scene from grass, twigs and sticks. We physically carve out a space for our wooden holy family and guests. This often two day process reminds me of the story of Joseph and Mary going to Bethlehem trying to find a place among their relatives where they could stay. It was too crowded because Caesar had declared a census. There was no where private enough for Mary and Joseph to be since she was just about to deliver. The only place that was available was a cattle stall.


Had their cousins and aunties and uncles known that that very night the Messiah that they had been waiting for would be born, they would have emptied out a whole room for Mary and Joseph and they would have slept out in the cattle stall themselves. But they didn't know. They were so consumed by the things of the world that they were unaware that the most important person to ever be born was going to be born that night.


Jesus, the King of the World, the God of Creation, the Son of God, was born into a poor family, in a shelter intended for animals.


This scene is poignant when I meditate upon it. Jesus descending from his throne, his majesty and glory to put upon himself mortality, frailty and poverty. And he did it for me. He did it for the people crowding up the joint family home that forced him to be born in a barn. He did it for everyone.


Is my heart and mind like those in the joint family home? Am I completely caught up in things of the world that I don't know that my Savior is coming into my life? Do I fill my minutes, hours, days and weeks so full that there is no room to sit at the manger in wonder at my Lord's condescension?


I find it sad and funny that Christmas has become so commercialized that indeed every single Christian at this time of year is sprinting from morning to evening in total material worldliness so that the minutes, hours and days leading up to Christmas feel frenzied like they have no room for Jesus. Every month I tell myself, "Holly, it isn't about the gifts. Just focus on Jesus." And then it's a long slew of White Elephant parties, Ugly Sweater parties, shopping for all the loved ones, baking, caroling and so on. I don't want to be a total odd ball hermit that never socializes, but I also am super confused as to why 90% of the world decides that the bulk of socialization needs to happen during the time leading up to the most sacred holiday. Any way, my introvert rants aside. I too struggle to keep my days leading up to Christmas uncluttered and focused on Christ.


I do my best to make an extra effort to meditate on Christ, to give him a ample share of my time and attention every day. I make this effort not only during the Christmas season but all year.


I invite you to mediate with me on how we can make room for the Savior in our hearts, our homes, our minutes and our hours. Let's make time to focus on Christ and be in awe of his goodness and mercy, that he would come to dwell among us, to serve us, to teach us and to die for us.

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