…and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in strips of cloth and placed Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
A few days before Thanksgiving, I lay snuggled up in a warm quilt and wool blanket, waiting for sleep to come. Work had been pressing in and as I was trying to clear my mind, I realized the holiday season was upon us. The pressures of deadlines had left me without the time I wanted to have to think about Christmas and the gifts I wanted to make for people.
My life – influenced in part by the world outside (work) had dictated there was “no room for them in the inn.” I imagine Bethlehem was crowded, and with that, noisy. Perhaps not quite like Black Friday, but still, throngs of people who do not have the essence of Christmas in mind.
In our efforts to capture what it might have been like for them that night in the stable, we’re reminded that a stable isn’t quiet either. It seems to me that the sounds of animals and nature would still be more soothing than the sounds of the city.
Some people are able to withdraw into a place of silence within themselves, even when surrounded by people or noise. In fact, I wrote the draft of this sitting in the entrance hallway to a busy downtown restaurant waiting for my husband to arrive. We don’t know how much waiting time Mary had before Jesus was born.
But later, after the shepherds had come and gone, Luke writes that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) That tells me she had that ability to find a place of silence within herself, because by that time she also had a newborn to tend.
My goal for this Christmas season is that I would “make room in my heart” and life for Him, and take time to ponder and enjoy the essence of Christmas:
“God with us.”
Christ in you, the hope of glory.