Your spouse hangs up the final garland, the smell of gingerbread floats in from the kitchen, and the doorbell chimes for the final time as the last guests arrive.
Your whole family is there, ready to start the Christmas celebration. There's just one problem. The guest of honor hasn't been brought up. There hasn't been a mention of the name of Jesus. He hasn't been celebrated. He hasn't been adored. Did you even invite Him to the gathering?
God's ultimate act of love on that first Christmas begs the question: Will you make room for Him in your heart?
THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL
From the very beginning, when the Son of God came from heaven down into our world, there was no room for Him. It was no accident that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ended up in a barn—it was part of God's plan: "'The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel' (which means 'God with us')" (Matthew 1:23).
When God decided to send His Son to earth, a decision that was prophesied thousands of years before, He knew that the throne would have made Jesus remote to the people He was serving. So Jesus did not come as a king or as a wealthy man. Instead, He left the splendor of heaven to become one of us—all to save us. He arrived in a world inundated with sin as an innocent, sinless baby born to a virgin mother—a baby who changed everything and came to earth with an invitation: "Come to me" (Matthew 11:28). And He did it because He loves us (see John 3:16).
ACCEPT GOD'S INVITATION
Just as the world failed to make room for the Savior that first Christmas, many of us do the same today. We may have received God's gracious invitation, but we haven't joined the party. We haven't made room for Him in our lives. Instead, we allow self-centeredness to strip us of the joy and contentment that come only from Christ. We allow the pursuit of earthly things to blind us to our need for God and the blessing of knowing Him. We allow the opinions and philosophies of the wrong people to keep us from believing the Truth of His Word.
God's ultimate act of love on that first Christmas begs the question: Will you make room for Him in your heart? Will you take a seat at His table?
This invitation is for everyone. Have you kept the Savior at a distance? Accept the gift of salvation that Christ alone offers you. Have life's disappointments left you with a hard heart? Invite Him in. Has sin left you broken and without hope? Surrender to the living God. Has the busyness of life extinguished your intimacy with Christ? Take a seat at His table once again.
My friend, Jesus knows your name. He knows your every thought, desire, and passion. He knew it before you were born, and He came from heaven to earth to die for you. Don't gamble with your eternity. Today, you can invite Him, the guest of honor, to take up residence in your life. Today, you can accept His invitation—whether it's an invitation to know Him for the first time or an invitation to simply know Him better today than you did yesterday.
When you sit down to dinner with your family, let this Christmas mark a new lifestyle as you invite Him to the table not just for today, but every day. As you gather with friends, let your conversation pour from a heart overflowing with joy in Christ. As you decorate your home or unwrap gifts next to the tree, express your thanksgiving, for all good things come from the Lord (see James 1:17).
This Christmas, let's refocus our lives on the greatest gift of all: Christ Jesus our Savior, who took on flesh, died on a cross, and rose again to give us eternal life in Him.
This Christmas, let's take a seat at the table He has so graciously set before us.
This Christmas and every day, let us make room for Him.
Prayer: Father, You alone are worthy of all glory and honor and praise. Reveal to me any area of my life where I am not making room for You. Thank You for Your willingness to send Your Son to earth to pay for my sins. I ask You to help me remember that, through the hustle and bustle of this season, it is all about the sacrifice of Jesus. Let my life be an offering of thanks for what You have done for me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.