A thought on redeeming the time:
No Room! December 6th
Do you remember what the innkeeper said to Joseph when he sought shelter for Mary? "No room!" Can you imagine the grief in Josephís heart as he looked at Mary? She was going to give birth soon. There were no hospitals to go to and no room for them in the inn. They had to look about until they found an outbuilding or a cave that housed animals. Thatís where Jesus was born Ö in a lowly stable.
It wasnít like the beautiful nativity scenes we see displayed in store windows or on coffee tables today. Jesus couldnít have been born in a place more crude and unlovely than where He was born.
To clothe Him, there was no baby layette, just swaddling clothes, just rags. But Joseph and Mary didnít complain about their lot. They didnít protest. They didnít demand something better from God.
This simple scene contradicts modern standards of living and human values. We have the mistaken notion that luxury, comforts, and gadgets are essential to the development of character. If that were true, donít you think God would have provided them for His Son? But He didnít. For in His wisdom, He knew character is developed by concentrating on that which is spiritual and moral wrapped up in His love.
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled" (Matthew 5:6).
O Lord, may I make room for the Christ of Christmas in my heart this season. May I look past the tinsel and glitter and stay focused on the birth of Your dear Son. In Jesusí name, Amen.