For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:11-14)
What are you doing this year to keep Christ in Christmas? The Christmas story reminds us of the day of our Savior’s birth. No matter if we feel far away from Christ or near at heart, when this passage is read each year Jesus becomes alive in our hearts once again.
As I was praying about what to write this month, I was reminded about a weekend we attended in the diaconate program. Father Michael walked us through a meditation on Luke 2. Father Michael instructed all of us to close our eyes and picture the nativity scene. He invited us to go into the stable where Jesus was born. After a pause, he said, “Now who are you in this scene?”
Putting myself in the scene taught me so much about the story of Jesus’ birth and about myself. Today I repeated that spiritual exercise. I decided to share my discoveries with you. Take a moment and prayerfully enter into this meditation with me.
Who am I today? Am I Mary, the mother, who is welcoming the Son of God, the Savior of the world? Mary grew Jesus inside her womb and then miraculously brought Him to this earth with the help of God. Mary’s, “Yes!” to God brought the gift of salvation to all. Am I willing to say yes to whatever God is asking me to do, even when I do not understand?
Dear Jesus, please give me a heart like your mother Mary. Let me always say yes to your request. Even if I do not understand, give me the grace to wait until it becomes clear. Jesus, help me to trust in You!
Am I Joseph, standing by his wife and newborn son? No matter what it cost, Joseph was faithful to God and to family. Do I stand by those I love whether it is convenient or not? Joseph’s gentle, humble, and steady love brought strength to his beloved Mary. Everyone needs a person to walk beside them and not run away when things get tough. Joseph silently stood for the true meaning of marriage, being there through all seasons.
Dear Jesus, please give me a heart like Joseph: humble, faithful, and strong. Let me support those I love in all seasons of their lives. Moreover, help me to be faithful to you!
Am I one of the angels, singing praises to the King of Kings and telling the world that the Lord has come? A heart of praise can ignite the love of Christ in the hearts of those we encounter. We can touch people each day in ways we may never know. The angels’ joyful songs spread the good news to the kings and whoever heard them sing; faith came alive in their hearts!
Dear Jesus, put a song in my heart and let me sing it to the world around me so all may know You have come. When sadness removes the song from my heart, let someone sing a song to me even if it be an angel!
Am I the one of the three wise men, following the star that lit the way in the darkness and pointed to where Jesus lay? Am I seeking Jesus and following where he wants to lead me? Am I lost in the darkness? Do I know the way back to Him?
Dear Jesus, please help me to seek you always and follow in your ways. If I get lost in the darkness, let me look for your light to guide me!
Am I Jesus, who lay in the manger dressed in swaddling clothes, content and secure in the love of his earthly parents ready to meet His every need? Did He know what was ahead of Him? Did he realize the sacrifice that His Heavenly Father would ask of Him? Did He know that some would not love and accept His sacrifice of love? How safe do I feel in the arms of my Heavenly Father?
Dear Jesus, help me to always feel secure in your love. Let me be grateful that you care for me. I do not know what you will ask of me, but please give me the heart of your Son Jesus, willing to sacrifice all!
Who are you?
Maybe as you stood at the entrance of the stable, you did not come in. You stood there hearing the angels singing, the baby cooing and viewed the parents filled with joy, but you were afraid. Maybe disappointment has invaded your heart, or sickness and suffering taken away your hope, or maybe unanswered prayer has blinded your faith.
This Christmas, come to the stable and see. Do not be afraid to step into the stable and sit a spell. Let Jesus speak to your heart and tell you how much He loves you. All are welcome to come to Him. The Christmas message is only the beginning of the story.
This Christmas, let Jesus breathe the words of life into your soul.
IS THERE ROOM AT THE “INN” OF YOUR HEART
If you came today, my Jesus
Into the stable of my heart,
Would I be open to house you?
Or would I only give a part?
Would I follow as the shepherd’s?
Would I seek as the kings?
Would I quiet myself to listen?
Would I hear the angels sing?
Would my minds be filled with wonder?
Or would my heart be filled with doubt?
Would I beckon you come hither?
Or would my life crowd you out?
Would I adore you as Savior?
Would I worship you as Lord?
Would I drop all to follow?
Or would I just get bored?
Jesus calls us all by name,
With Him our lives are never the same!
As Christmas time approaches,
I think of His Holy Birth.
Let us all examine our hearts,
Is Jesus really first?
Many cried, “Lord, Lord” even in that day,
But didn’t choose to follow in His way.
The kings had the rule,
The Pharisees had the law.
Who had the victory?
Who is Lord over all?
Jesus’ love reigns forever?
Answer, answer His call!
Jesus knocks daily on the “inn” of your heart.
Will you give your all, or just a part?
Is there room at your “inn”?
Will you let the Savior in?
Christmas tells the story of why Jesus came for you,
When He knocks upon your door, what will you do?
Copyright 2017 Ellen Mongan