Most likely we have all sang the Christmas carol, “Joy to the World” at one time or another. It’s easy to put it on autopilot when we get a few lines in. While singing this carol last week, I was almost stunned by the “aha” of the lines: “Let every heart prepare Him room.” (I know, I’m really thick and slow. Should have gotten it long before now.)
We’ve all know how to prepare for Christmas, even though we may define how we do it differently on the calendar (or the clock, if you’re a Christmas Eve shopper.) And yeah, it’s an easy connection from preparing for Christmas celebrations and parties to preparing for the real reason for Christmas. As I thought about this “prepare” idea more this week, I want to point out two observations we make in our physical Christmas preparations that can lead us deeper this Christmas.
To prepare room for the Christmas tree and other special decorations, we often move something out of “that spot” for the season, with plans to put it back when we take the tree down. We move mantel decorations, furniture and table top decor to put Christmas stuff in its place. Or, we fill an empty spot with Christmas decorations.When we stand back and take it all in, it just looks and feels better with the extra cheer.
So to the deeper… the only place Jesus can come at Christmas is in our hearts, as the carol reminds us. Our hearts are like our homes and stores. If we don’t take some stuff out, there’s no room for Him. And we wonder what’s the big deal about Christmas, because we’ve missed it. Or, we already have empty space in our hearts, and we have to intentionally put Jesus in that space.
Don’t miss out this Christmas on the deep and the profound. Be sure to prepare Him room… in your heart. And see how good that feels.
Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.