Thursday, December 26, 2013

Let Every Heart Prepare HIM Room

Alace, my wife, used to run the front desk at a Days Inn hotel in Longview, Texas on evenings and weekends.  It was an interesting job in which she met a wide variety of people traveling for a wide variety of reasons- business people, families on vacation, and more.  One time our neighbor showed up with her kids- she was leaving her abusive husband in the night.

Alace never remembers a time when the hotel maxed out and she had to send anyone away.  Of course, this is the very thing happened to Mary and Joseph when they were looking for lodging upon arrival in Bethlehem.  No one had "left the light on for them" (shameless Motel 6 advert reference).

The "no-room-in-the-inn" piece of advent is a key aspect highlighted again and again in Christmas celebrations and plays round the world… and in a recent episode of a very popular "guided reality" show.

Rightly so…

What I mean is, what if you got a knock at the door and Jesus was there… right now… asking for a place to stay?  After getting over some initial shock, we might object saying that our place was somewhat inadequate- too messy, old sheets, evidence of a less-than-sacred lifestyle, etc.

I suggest to you that…

... this is a daily occurrence for many of us- those who have received the news and/or evidence of Jesus.  There is a "supernatural" knocking on the doors of our hearts.  Jesus is here and asking for room- room in each nook and cranny of our hearts so that, increasing, our words, actions, and thoughts reflect HIM to a world in need of a Savior.

As our family spends this Christmas and New Year in Cameroon, we realize that we are surrounded by some obvious signs that many doors remain "closed" to the Savior, as the sound of His knocking seems "drown out" by other, tragic events…

NIGERIA:  About 450 miles directly north of us is the NE region of Nigeria where Boko Haram terrorize.  Churches are attacked and then reprisal violence ensues. BBC Map
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: 470 miles to the east of us is Bangui, the capital of CAR, where, again, we see religious groups carrying out violence toward one another.
BBC photo and headline

S. SUDAN: Just east of CAR is the planets newest country- South Sudan.  As you can see, due to violence and in-fighting, over 81,000 people have been forced from their homes- seeking peace somewhere.  BBC Map and comments.
The number of refugees, according to the UN High Commission on Refugees, is higher now than it has been for decades.  More and more are seeking room… a home… shelter… peace.  Perhaps they will find some of what they are looking for and I sincerely pray that they do.  Even more so, however, I pray that they, themselves, will make some room for the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus.  Some of the friends we have made, here in Cameroon, work among these people groups.  I hope that you join in praying with us for peace that passes understanding to rest upon each man, woman, and child of these refugees.  These are truly tragic situations.

Jesus- a Refugee

Our Savior is forever a refugee, of sorts, for us.  Driven by a divine love for you and me, He moved from perfect union with the Trinity (while maintaining His divinity), to forever take on human form.  Why?  So, we can take on our own refugee status as well!  As we follow our homeless Savior, we realize that, while our residence may be "of this world", our citizenship is not at all.  We are made for somewhere and something beyond this space and time and must be on the move from anything that resembles "nesting" or "setting up home" or any other investment in things that are non-eternal.

Investing in the Eternal

What are good investments?  Eternal things are the only solid investments.  So, let's start with an investment with a relationship with Jesus.  The Bible says he will never leave us or forsake us- a great investment.  Then lets invest in other people- they have eternal souls and it's our calling to provide them evidence (visual and verbal) that their Creator God loves them.  Then, how about God's Word?  It's eternal too, according to Psalm 119:89.  These are great investments for refugees- things that "moth and rust" won't destroy.    ourselves us Not a god that gives us a "chance" of communion or

As a result of creator-God's desire to fully commune with each and everyone of us, we celebrate this holiday- Christmas… a celebration for refugees, directed towards a divine refugee.  As the great Christmas song, Joy to the World, implores, "Let every heart prepare Him room".  May it be so.  The divine refugee is knocking… seeking room, this season.

Merry Christmas you refugees!

No comments:

Post a Comment