This Advent season, I’ve been struck by the line in Luke’s gospel …
(Mary) gave birth to her firstborn child, a son, wrapped him snugly, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the guestroom. (Luke 2.7, CEB)
Mary gave birth to Jesus in a stable, placed the newborn in a feeding trough for animals, “because there was no place for them in the guestroom.” We can only speculate about why that was the case, but the point is, there wasn’t. They were given the stable instead.
It makes me wonder: how often do we give Jesus the same kind of treatment in our lives. Instead of giving Jesus the guestroom, we relegate him to the stable!
And yet, God loves us, and continues to look for a place in our hearts. One day, Jesus passed through Jericho and notice a man named Zacchaeus, a rich “ruler among tax collectors,” in a sycamore tree. Jesus stopped and said, “Zacchaeus, come down at once. I must stay in your home today” (Luke 19.5, CEB).
Jesus is looking for a place in our hearts, too. That’s why he came. “The Word became flesh and made his home among us” (John 1.14, CEB). And now, he prepares a place for us.
Jesus said …
Don’t be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me. My Father’s house has room to spare. If that weren’t the case, would I have told you that I’m going to prepare a place for you? When I go to prepare a place for you, I will return and take you to be with me so that where I am you will be too. (John 14.1-3, CEB)
Jesus is looking for a place in your heart. At the same time, he is preparing a place for you!
(This post is part of the Common English Bible Tour.)