Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room…
In February, I expect to be making some phone calls and announcing, “Joy has come to our family! Our first grandchild has arrived!” Then I will hop on the next plane west and hurry to meet the little guy. I will look into his sweet newborn face and receive him into my arms. My daughter and son-in-law will wrap their firstborn in blankets and take him home, where there will be a room all prepared for him.
When Jesus was born, the joy extended beyond the usual family and friends to the whole world. That’s a lot of joy. Yet, He didn’t get the warmest of receptions: a barn for a delivery room, a box of straw for a crib and smelly sheep herders for visitors. It didn’t get any easier as Jesus got older, either. The church folks hounded Him, the prostitutes and extortionists were His groupies, and His hand-picked band of brothers didn’t understand Him. A rather chilly reception, I’d say.
Thankfully, every Christmas we are reminded that, yes, Jesus came because God so loved the world, but He really just wants to take up residence in each one of our hearts. So it’s time once again to see if there’s room in there. Have I crowded Him out or made Him feel unwelcome? Have I prepared a place so I can receive Him with joy?