“…because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7b)
The above words are very familiar to us, as part of the Christmas story. You all know the context: Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem as ordered by Caesar Augustus and his census. Mary was due to give birth at any time. And her Child was Jesus, the Son of God, our Savior. Yet, when they arrive, there is no room to be found for them, as St. Luke tells us.
How sad, we think. How short-sighted and myopic were those Bethlehemites, we grumble. How foolish of them NOT to find place and space and time for their Savior, we pontificate. And yet, how often could those same words be said of us? Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of our Savior. His coming into our world to defeat sin and death and the devil for us. To give us the great gift: eternal life. To make us God’s children again. Nothing — and I mean nothing — is more important than that, right? But is that how we live? I mean, just think of all the things we let crowd out Christ our new-born King when He comes to us these Advent and Christmas seasons. Shopping, decorating, visiting, parties, food, and so much more. So, tell me: how are we any different than those people of Bethlehem?
This year Christmas Eve falls on a Friday; Christmas Day on a Saturday; and we have Sunday services on December 26. That’s three days in a row. That seems like a lot of church! But maybe rather than looking at it as a burden, we should look at it as an opportunity. An opportunity to be reminded of just how great this holy day/season are. So great and holy that just one service, or even two, is not enough. No, we need THREE! And you will be able to hear not just me preach on this “Joy to the World”, this year we are also blessed to have Seminarian Jordan DeBoer with us to preach on Sunday, the 26th!
Truly, there is no time like Christmas. Because God has given His own Son. For, and to, YOU. Of course we celebrate! And we gather with our eternal family here to do just that. In addition to those Christmas services and our regular Sunday morning services, we also have midweek Advent services on December 1, 8 (day school Christmas program), and 15 (Sunday School Christmas program). And New Year’s Eve service on Friday, December 31. So, please, find room (and time) to welcome your Savior by being in Your Father’s house this month (and all year long!).