No Room? — Day *

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

No room. No place. Nowhere the holy family could fit, squeeze themselves in. There was already too much, too many. No room for just one more – even one as small as a baby.
It’s so easy for our inns to become overcrowded. Career. Family. Social obligations. Doctor appointments. Housework. Financial obligations. Next thing you know you look at your calendar and see all the little squares are filled in – there’s no room. No room for one thing more. Even if that one is Our Savior.
When my daughter was younger we had a ritual – before her birthday each year she needed to go through all the stuff in her room and take out what she didn’t need, what she was willing to let go of, what could be given away – to make room for the new gifts she would receive for her birthday.
Our spiritual lives are much the same. Every year we celebrate a birthday – the birthday of Jesus – and the gift we are offered is Jesus himself – and all that comes with him: hope, joy, peace, comfort, new life. And if we receive those gifts, Jesus is born in us and we are made new – Christmas becomes our birthday too.
But will there be room in our lives and in our hearts for the gifts Jesus brings? What can we let go of, what don’t we need, what burdens can be given away – so we have space for the new? Advent is the time, in the words of the familiar carol, to “let every heart, prepare him room.”
When the holy comes knocking, will there be a place in your inn?