There is Room – for God

A Grandparent was staying with one of their children, who were having building work done on the house.

They when into a bedroom to find their grandchild jumping up and down in a playpen, crying, reaching up their arms longingly saying, saying “Out! Please! Out!”

But they knew that their grandchild had been put in the playpen to keep them safe while builders were moving equipment around in the house. 

“I’m sorry my love, they said, you need to stay in.”

But the child kept crying. Their tears and outstretched arms reached deep into the grandparents heart. What could they do? The child needs to stay safe, but they were desperate to comfort them.

Finally – love found a way – the child couldn’t come out of the playpen – so they climbed in the play pen with them.

The Christmas story is one of a loving parent seeing those they love in need, and choosing to climb in with them.

God – chooses to become flesh – human, like us – and to be born as a vulnerable babe.

There was a time when God was seen as a more distant being, somewhat beyond our reach and understanding – and only interested in those who were descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That there wasn’t room for others.

But as God comes to live among us, God does the unthinkable, the unexpected, and shows that God is not above us or beyond us, or distant from us or even against us or only for a select few…

but shows God is with us and among us.
And loves all of us.

For Mary and Joseph, when they arrived in Bethlehem the usual places of hospitality were full – there was no room. But Mary and Joseph found room – they had to – Mary was about to pop! They made room for a baby, for some shepherds – and we think there would have been some animals around too. And later in the story – at the other end of the scale – magi come along too.

A right mix of beings – who all found room to come and meet the babe – who was the Son of God. And now, 2000 years later, that opportunity continues.

There is room for you in God’s story – because God in interested in everyone. God welcomes everyone. God makes room for you, me, us and all.

The story is told of a school preparing for their Christmas play. One of the focuses of the play was to reflect the radiance of Jesus. An electric bulb was hidden in the manger and all the stage lights would go off, except the one in the manger.

On the day of the performance the moment came, the lights went out.. and so did the one in the manger. There was a period of silence when a little shepherd loudly whispered – “Hey, you’ve turned of Jesus!”

As we discover There is room in God’s heart for you, for me, for us, for all, we are offered an opportunity to respond – invited to make room in our hearts for God…

In the festivities of the season,
Turkey shortages,
Delayed Christmas deliveries,
A new Christmas jumper,
That one last person on the Christmas gift list you just don’t know what to buy for
And working out who is going to have Aunty Marjorie for Christmas Day,
Let us not turn off Jesus.

Let us not forget the reason for this season.
Let us make room in our hearts and lives for the one who made room in the world to be with us, and say to us there is room for you, me, us and all.

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