And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger… because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)
No room for them in the inn. No room for them. No room for Jesus.
In all of Jerusalem there was no vacancy for the Savior of the world–no space for the Messiah.
No one welcomed His mother, in the deep throws of labor, into their homes, into their inn, into their lives.
Plenty of books and blog posts, Christmas songs and sermons admonish us to make room in the innermost chambers of our heart for Jesus this Christmas… and every day. We try, moms, don’t we? There beside the twinkling Christmas tree lights, we unwrap the gift that He is during advent. Throughout the year, we make room for Him on Sunday mornings and over dinnertime prayers, family devotions and verses recited together at the kitchen table. We make room for Him when we tuck them deep into their covers each night singing, “Jesus loves me this I know.”
We make room purposefully, in the most intentional of ways as parents. And yet, what about the day-in and day-out moments of real life parenting? (It hurts to write that and might sting a bit to read.) But what about those moments that fly by between the closing of the Bible in the morning and the bedtime blessings at night? Have we made room for Jesus to govern each of those moments, that they might reflect Him?
Is there space for Him in each of our words, that they might communicate His love?
Is there room in each and every one of our touches, that they speak of His gentleness?
Have we made a real, living habitation for Jesus to dwell in the frustrating places of our grocery-shopping, home-working, dinner-making moments? The stressed places of our finances and marriage?
Because the truth is, when we first said “yes” to Jesus, He came in and took up permanent residency in our lives, and He wants full access to our every moment.
Jesus doesn’t want just our “spiritual moments”–He wants every moment, every day.
“You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 11:19)
These are the everyday every-moments He wants us to hang our “VACANCY” sign on, declaring, “Jesus, You are welcome here as we talk and we sit and we walk and lie down and rise up again.”
Sometimes I think it would be better for a child to grow up without his mom quoting bible verses and singing songs about a Savior if she doesn’t bring Jesus into her everyday mothering moments as well. When we pray and memorize scripture one moment, only to belittle tender hearts with harsh words and hands a few minutes later, we become a stumbling block to the ones we love most. Those same hands we fold, the same lips we pray with must belong to Him every moment of every day. It’s a must, moms. An absolute, surrendered, MUST! Don’t panic, sweet, well-intentioned heart, I’m not preaching perfection, I’m laying down, humbly sobbing “Emmanuel!” God with us, right here, present, each live-long day. Because the only way we can do each moment like Jesus, is by throwing wide open the doors to our lives. There’s room here! Stay here. Abide here.
Let’s invite Him to reign in our hearts,
to live in our hearts,
to rule from our hearts,
every moment of every mothering day.
UnWrapping the Gift
- What everyday, mothering moments are most difficult for you to invite God into?
- What are some practical ways we can make space for Him within those ordinary stress-filled moments?
Oh God, Emmanuel, You are a very WITH ME God! Forgive me for all of the days I’ve included you only in the spiritual moments with the children. Jesus, though I’m weak and often fail… there is room for your strength. You are welcome here, Jesus, in my parenting. I invite you in. Amen.