While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
Luke 2:6-7 NIV
They’d travelled far. And they must have been so very tired. But the whole town was booked. Inn after inn, and not a room to be found. In the end, they settled in the stable with the animals. It may not have been pretty, but they were just poor peasants, after all. They were inside and warm, and there was a place for the newborn, so why complain?
To the inn keeper and any one else who might have happened by, it was just another baby. The innkeeper hadn’t been visited by angels. He couldn’t have known it was Heaven’s child being born among the animals.
But it’s different for us. Isn’t it? Each year we come to this story – but we know the ending already. We know who this child is and what his birth meant. We know how he lived and what he taught. We know how he chose to lay down his life for us. Eek now how he rose again on the third day.
Each year we come to this story, we have the chance to ask ourselves again: will we make room for the child? Will we take him in? Allow his birth, his life, his teachings, his death and his resurrection to be at home within our hearts?
If we do, if we make room for him, we will be transformed. No longer able to live simply as children of this world, but adopted into the holy family, made citizens of heaven, with all its rights and privileges and duties. Made over into children of light and love whose purpose it is to spread light and love into the dark places of our world.
This Advent, may you make room for the Christ child. May you know why he came and may you find that it is your purpose to share the light and love you’ve found in him with everyone you meet.