We Make Room
December 19, 2023
Rev. Cecilia D. Armstrong
A Sanctified Art, LLC | www.sanctifiedart.org

There is a famously-told Christmas story about a little boy who wanted to be Joseph in the Nativity play. He did not get the part of Joseph but did land the part of the innkeeper. He was disappointed. The night of the performance, he decided to change the story. The story, as told, caused Joseph to inquire about a place for him and Mary. The crowd anticipated that the innkeeper would say, “There is no room in the inn.” However, the little boy changed the story that night. He said, “Sure, I’ve got the best room in the inn. You may have mine.” This changed the whole story and caused everyone to laugh. When his parents got him home that night, they asked him why he changed the story. He told them what he learned as a Christian. Since no one knows the day nor the hour that the Son of God will return, then we ought to be ready to give God our best, lean not on our own understanding, and in all our ways trust God to direct our paths.

We make room. God makes room. The angels tell the shepherds, and they make room. There’s always room. There’s always more space. There’s always plenty of good room, just choose your seat and sit down. Where we find the lack of hospitality is where we find the lack of joy. The Rev. Dr. James Foster Reese once said at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), “We are better together.” Although he has entered eternal rest with our Savior, his words remain true. Joseph and Mary were given the opportunity to be together even in a space that declared no room. The shepherds went to Bethlehem to see this thing that had taken place, causing them to be together with the holy family. Not only did the shepherds come and witness this thing, but they also left telling everyone by glorifying and praising God, giving society a chance to be together.

Our task during this Christmas season is to make room in the same manner. We should acknowledge that the world is weary from grief, war, a pandemic, political strife, personal and corporate failings, and the list could continue. Although these weary acts take place, our rejoicing happens when we encounter life together. When we change the story as it might seem to be and make room for collective moments to rejoice. For no one knows the day nor the hour of the second Advent, so let’s not lean on our own understanding but in all our ways trust God to direct our paths—offering God our best by making room for others. The room we make will allow a weary world to rejoice.