One of the most telling sentences in the New Testament, one that has always resonated with me during the busy holiday season is...there was no rom for them in the inn. This couple, the wife heavy with child, has just completed an arduous trek from their home in Nazareth to the city of Bethlehem in accordance with a decree from Caesar that everyone was to be taxed. They travelled slowly because of her condition and by the time they arrived, all available rooms had already been taken. How did they end up in the stable? Perhaps the harried inn keeper took pity on them and offered the only place he could. In retrospect, it might have given them the most privacy at this most precious of times. At any rate, I suspect his was not the only inn that they had approached and perhaps they just couldn't go any farther.
What tugs at my heartstrings is that question...have I made room in my 'inn', my home, my consciousness, for the needs of others at this holiday season? Am I remembering why this is such a sacred time? Amid all the shopping, baking, wrapping, sending of Christmas cards, attending the 'grands' Christmas programs, keeping the radio on the station playing only Christmas music...all of those things a valued part of the holiday...have I paused often enough to listen so that I might hear the angels singing?
I have always loved the details of the Nativity. It is interesting that Mrs. Eddy wrote in Miscellaneous Writings on page 374, "It is most fitting that Christian Scientists memorize the nativity of Jesus." She loved Christmas and wrote about it often. In one Christmas Sermon, beginning on page 164 of that same book, she says, "The vision of the Wisemen, this spiritual idea of the Principle of man or the universe, appeared as a star." Our Bible Lesson this week is filled with references to light.
I shared with someone another way to work with the Bible Lesson and its references to 'light'. Not only is our thought illumined and uplifted as we grow in our understanding of God and our relationship to Him as beloved children, but our whole outlook is more 'light' and cheerful, not at all dark or depressed or anxious. We move through the holidays with a light and joyous step.
Christmas time is a reminder for me to make sure I am always putting God first, choosing to see good all around me and in everyone I meet. Making room, pausing, listening to angels sing, and looking up to see the star. All the rest will fall into line, the gifts purchased and wrapped, mailed off in time to those far away. The baking will be fun, writing the cards a time to reflect on friends and friendship. The moments at school and in church sacred. I don't ever want to lose the joy of the Nativity story amid all the hustle and bustle and preparations. My 'inn' should always have room for prayer, one more quiet moment with God to express my deep love for Him and for His son.
Merry and blessed Christmas to you and yours.