My twin sister is due to have her first baby at Christmas time! Naturally, my whole family is excitedly counting down the days as we await the arrival of our newest little family member.

There is so much to prepare for the birth of a newborn. Every new parent’s mental checklist runs wild, as they ask themselves: Have we got enough space? What kind of cot or bassinet should we buy? What kind of car seat is the safest? Which pram should we buy? Will we use swaddle wraps, blankets, or zippered sleeping bags? What will I pack in my hospital bag? And the list goes on…

The way we (in modern western society) prepare to have a baby is in stark contrast with Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem 4-6 BC, over 2000 years ago. His mother, Mary, didn’t even have to decide on a name, as she was told,

“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus” (Luke 1:31).

Jesus’ birth was not just long-awaited by his earthly parents for nine months, but by millions of people for centuries! And yet, he was born humbly in a stable, with no professional medical care, because there was no vacancy anywhere that night (Luke 2:7); as the Bible had foretold.

Thinking about how much time new parents spend preparing for the birth of a baby, I can’t help but wonder how much time and energy I invest in preparing room for Jesus in my life. Have I put up a ‘No Vacancy’ sign to Him?

For example: Am I so busy being a mother that I don’t have time to read God’s word and worship Him? Am I angry or disappointed with the way 2021 has turned out, or a lack of personal achievements? Is it selfishness or self-pity that tells me I’m too exhausted (due to covid, work and family life) to consider inviting unbelieving friends and family to Christmas services?

Confessing our sins to God and seeking his forgiveness is like putting up an eviction notice for these kinds of thoughts in our hearts! And it brings me great relief, joy, and freedom to serve the Lord!

Just as he promised, God sent his only son into a hostile world so that whoever puts their faith in Him will be welcomed into his family forever – not just at Christmas time! As this is such good news, we should want to share it.

Let every heart prepare Him room.

Lauren Russell
Communications Direction (P/T)