The Nativity of the Lord
December 26, 2021
…there was no room for them in the inn… (Luke 2:7)
That simple detail allows our imagination to visualize the Birth of Jesus Christ in the most humble yet peaceful of settings. When we reflect on the Nativity, very often we can almost hear a choir of angels singing Silent Night. And somehow, we overlook the deprivation, hardship, uncertainty, even fear that Mary and Joseph must have been experiencing that night in Bethlehem.
This year, as I read and reflect on all the Scripture passages that foretold and then describe the birth of the Christ child, that line…there was no room for them in the inn…seems to demand special attention. However, it does not cause me to hum…O Holy Night…or Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Instead, that very significant detail about Jesus’s birth…there was no room for them in the inn…has caused me to look back over the past year and recall all the deprivation, hardship, uncertainty, fear, violence, civil unrest, sickness, and death that the world has endured. As I ponder the recent past, what disturbs me the most is that it is happening again…>there is no room for them in the inn.
By that I mean that fewer and fewer people…in spite of all the fearsome things that are happening around us each and every day…are looking to Christ as our Savior. So many seem to have forgotten that the Father sent The Son to reign as Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:5).
God intended that The Eternal Word should take Flesh and dwell among us so that “His dominion would be vast and forever peaceful.” Tragically, however, we live in an age when The Lord’s dominion seems to be rapidly shrinking. More and more people seem to be saying…there is no room in our lives. And so, there is less and less peace!
These thoughts are clearly disturbing and might well seem totally inappropriate to a Christmas message. But these are challenging times. And the challenge for those of us who continue to make room in our lives for the Lord are very much the same as the challenges to The Incarnation.
Like the sheep, donkeys, and oxen…we are called to use our life’s breath to warm this fragile Child.
Like the angels…the heavenly choirs…we must continue to give Christ glory and praise.
Even as the shepherds responded to The Good News…we are summoned to leave our cares and concerns and doubts and fears behind, and to travel to the place where we will encounter Our Savior. There, we, too, can be witnesses to this miraculous new beginning that, after all these centuries, continues to unfold.
If we are wise and courageous, we will follow the example of the Magi and watch for signs…and when we see them, go where The Light guides us. If we are wise, we will ignore the “modern day Herods,” who hope to destroy the amazing opportunity to find Who we seek and pay Him homage. If we are courageous, we will open the treasure of our hearts and offer our gifts in the service of this “newborn King.”
Drawing on our faith as St. Joseph did, we will respond to the urgent call to protect Jesus. Finally, in our own way, each of us can “give birth” to The Christ…certainly not like The Blessed Mother…but, rather, by bringing Christ into the world by the manner in which we live our lives.
While the secular world celebrates a holiday with the sentimental song…I Wish Every Day Could be Like Christmas…good people know with certainty that it can be! Every day can be like Christmas if only every person were to >make room in their lives for the Lord.
So…>Come, All Ye Faithful…joyful and triumphant, we must show the doubters how it is done. We will face the prospect of another year of deprivation, hardship, uncertainty…even fear, with ever stronger faith and unshaken hope. We can and will meet the challenges of our time because we know that this Child whose birth we remember with great joy and love will return as the Christ, and His dominion would be vast and forever peaceful!