Let every heart prepare Him room…
There was no room at the inn.
There was no room at the inn for the Creator of all universes to be born into the world.
There was no room at the inn for the Sustainer of life to break into our darkness in order to rescue us from ourselves.
There was no room at the inn for the King of Kings that had been promised and YEARNED and GROANED for since the garden.
I am going to guess that we could find ourselves on both ends of this story in this season.
Stretched to capacity, no margin to contemplate preparation for one more thing, we are the innkeeper shutting down our hearts. “Nope—no room, go away—maybe another day,” we say. Actually, we might be to the point that we just stick the sign on the door so we don’t even have to interact.
Our hearts, laden with sadness, with crushed expectations, with unrealistic expectations, with the weight of lost hope, shut down to perform our duties to “produce” a holiday for those around us. In essence, we say “there’s no room for me to unpack what I am really feeling, what is really going on—no one wants to hear that in this season.”
We let the flood of information and the flood of our heavy schedules drown the needs of our hearts and truthfully…the hearts of those around us. We may even have the best of intentions to “prepare room for Him” in our hearts, and then, the flood wipes away our resolve.
THE DESPERATE COUPLE
Or, we could be quite aware of the urgency of our need. We could be knocking, looking, asking all while “no vacancy” signs are thrown up in our faces from those in whom we are seeking to find some room to process or get a need met. It’s a helpless feeling to be falling apart and not know where to turn. So, we find ourselves in a cave (the stable)—a forgotten place. It’s not sterile, it’s cold and uncomfortable and it echoes with the pain of our need.
It’s the place Jesus was given to be born—not in fanfare or the perfect setting (by human standards). The One who had come to save His people from their sins was not esteemed by mankind to have the royal treatment. He was a man of sorrows—well acquainted with grief. He, who condescended from Heaven and from beautiful community with the Father and the Spirit, actually felt what we feel in our bodies, in our emotions, in our longings. He knew perfection—He created it. Yet, He had to live in the muck of the consequences of the sins of the world physically and relationally. What does it even tell us that to rescue us from this darkness that He would have to die under the weight of that darkness of humanity—undeserved and cast aside with the weight of all wrath upon Him for our darkness? It tells us…the He is amazing, beautiful, worthy of all honor and glory. It tells us that if there is One we can find room in, it is Him.
Wherever you find yourself today…it is not too late to prepare Him room. It will be a messy room filled with piles in the corners. Piles of shoulds, need tos, what do I do with thats and boxed up pain are there. The thing about preparing Him room—it doesn’t mean that you clean out all the junk to be presentable. He is the One who shines Light into our darkness so we can even understand what is really there. He is the One who has already faced the punishment and consequences of the hidden and not so hidden things in the closet of your room. He simply says—invite Me in, trust Me. He says turn from your ways of being that have denied Me room and walk with Me every step of the way and experience My Joy and Beauty.
The irony is that our rooms have more in common with the cave than we can see. We dress them up, but the same reality is there—deep need and deep loneliness. Whether you find yourself filled up in the Inn or wandering to find your cave, reach to Him in the midst. May the words of “Joy to the World” be your anthem this Christmas.
Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let (your name) receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing.
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.