Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No Room

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas like I did! I haven't spent any time on my blog in the last week due to the fact that all four of my children came home for Christmas and I've been reminded what life used to be like when they were all still little and living under our roof; lots of food being consumed, shoes by the front door, loads of laundry, wet towels. I'm not complaining though. They're the signs of life!

We've been having a wonderful time as a family. We just returned from Indianapolis where we celebrated with my Mom, sisters and all my side of the family for the first time in 14 years. Last week here in Glen Ellyn the days were spent doing the following; sleeping in, reading by the fire, finishing up shopping for presents, knitting, walking the dog in the snow, wrapping, watching sports & movies, crocheting hats, switching to Verizon, baking cookies, napping, trips to the grocery, and a day on Michigan Avenue. It was all wonderful and relaxing.

Another family did not have a fun, relaxing week leading up to Christmas. Over 2000 years ago a young couple named Mary and Joseph were forced to make a long, uncomfortable trip to Bethlehem. I got to travel in a new company car with seat warmers while I typed on my I-Pad and my children watched a DVD on their laptop. Mary and Joseph had to walk and ride a donkey while she was in her last stages of pregnancy.

We did get just a "taste" of how they felt when they were turned down at the Inn due to the crowds and shown a less-than satisfactory alternative in a noisy stable. This was our first Christmas Eve to worship the birth of Christ at our new church here in Glen Ellyn. We misjudged how packed it would be and arrived only five minutes before the service began.

We soon found out there was "no more room" in the Sanctuary, and were shown to some folding chairs in the foyer where we could "watch" the service on a pull-down screen. It would have been OK, but people were milling about, talking loudly and not realizing that we were trying to participate in a Holy celebration. I imagine the same thing happened to the young couple who were bringing our savior into the world on Christmas Eve. Mary was having contractions and trying to focus on this most Holy of moments while being surrounded by the noise and chaos of animals and for all we know oblivious people.

Just like I was a bit disappointed for my family that it wasn't what I had envisioned, Joseph probably felt he'd let Mary and the baby down. Once Jesus had arrived I bet everything faded away except the tiny miracle baby. We all need to learn to let the chaos of the world fade away, and that can only happen when we focus on the gift God gave us that December night over 2000 years ago.

"While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
Luke 2:6,7

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