Have you ever tried to reserve a table at a restaurant or try and book a room at a hotel and you were told they were fully booked, or even tried to get tickets for a football match, the theatre or the opera but all were sold out? I`m sure we can say` yes` at various stages in our lives. And it can be extremely annoying and frustrating when your heart is set on something, but you are turned away because there is simply no room. Plans have to be changed. Plan B or C comes into action and the second `best`, now has to do.

Advent: the beginning of Christmas can be a time when there is No Room whether in: Santa`s grottos, car parks, café`s, town centres, the spare room where many presents are kept, in the fridge where many festive goodies are being stored or in the kitchen where the turkey and trimmings are being prepared, and of course, the majority of shops will be jammed packed with people, often with No Room to `swing a cat in`. No Room is a constant theme during the Christmas period, especially on Christmas Day when the children cover the floor with all their presents.

And there was also No Room over 2000 years ago for Mary and Joseph. The small towns and villages even in their day were heaving with people too, no more so than when Jesus was born. There was No Room in the Inn, it was just so busy that a stable `had to do`. No Room for Jesus and that must have been so frustrating for His parents, especially not knowing what to do next. And sadly, that hasn`t really changed.

Even today, people are still saying: `there`s No Room for Jesus in my life, in my career, in my finances, in my family, in my relationships and in my social time`. And like the innkeeper in the nativity story, they have pushed Jesus `out of the way and round the back` rather than allowing Him to take centre stage in their lives. And consequently, their lives can easily become very smelly, dirty, messy and chaotic, just like the stable that Jesus was born in.

With the busyness of Advent, let’s make sure that there is plenty of room for Jesus this Christmas, both in your heart and in your home, and that He isn`t looking in from afar, because there is no room amongst the presents, the food, the family and festivities. Furthermore, when Jesus was born, he was in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of a stable, in the middle of Mary and Joseph BUT right in the middle of God`s plans.

If you want the best Christmas ever, make sure Jesus is in the middle of your Christmas celebrations too. So, as you enjoy the Christmas festivities make sure Jesus is involved IN all that you do, unlike the world that continues to push Jesus OUT. Furthermore, if you want stability in your life in 2023, make sure the `King of the STABLE` takes centre stage. 

Blessings. Pastor Steve

                                                       

ADVENT REFLECTION

What needs to `go` to make more room for Jesus? What has taken `centre stage` in your life that means Jesus has been pushed out?