I know you’ll understand when I say this: Sometimes, rather than drawing us closer to God, Christmas actually draws us away.

For many of us, the Christmas season will be filled with rushing, hurrying, milling around stores, feet aching, head throbbing, nerves frazzled, trying to chase down the best bargain for that widget we can’t live without. No wonder the little girl who was praying “forgive us our trespasses” got confused and said, “forgive us our Christmases.” Sometimes we need to be forgiven for our Christmases. We leave no room for Jesus.

That First Christmas

   That was the case the night He was born. There was no room for Him in the inn that first Christmas. And the only place Jerusalem had for Him was a cross. Even in His death, there was no room for Him; He was buried in a borrowed tomb. (His stay there was a short one!)

   Why was there no room for the Lord Jesus? For several reasons back then, and they’re the same reasons there’s little room for Him today.

Ignorance. The innkeeper didn’t know the child about to be born was the Son of God. Some did know. Mary and Joseph certainly knew. The shepherds, the Wise Men, and Anna and Simeon ministering in the temple knew. Mary’s cousin Elizabeth knew. But the innkeeper did not. As we move among holiday crowds, we’re surrounded by people looking for a celebration but not a Savior. They might tip their hat to the child of Bethlehem, unwilling to acknowledge that He is the King of Glory.
Indifference. Can you imagine the innkeeper as he shuttles a young woman about to give birth off to a cow stall? He simply had no concern. 

Involved. Perhaps the innkeeper was too involved. He was so busy, he just didn’t have time. His rooms were filling with guests and his purse was filling with gold. Like many of us, he was too busy with others things. The tyranny of the urgent concerned and the demands of daily life controlled him.

   But these circumstances were no accident. Centuries before His coming, Isaiah the prophet foretold: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)

What About This Christmas?

   Today there’s still little room for the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, there’s open hostility. Some insist that the days surrounding the Lord’s birthday now be called “Winter Break” instead of “the Christmas Holidays.”  Irreverent and irrelevant Christmas cards fly off the shelves. The main characters of Christmas are replaced by the Grinch, Rudolph, Elf on the Shelf, and Santa. Are we, too, ignorant, indifferent, and overly involved? 

  Another aspect of this season is that some experience Christmas as the saddest time of year when it ought to be one of the happiest. What is at the root of this? Perhaps Christmas is not all you feel it ought to be. Somehow you’re trying to be happy finding satisfaction in gifts and parties. Maybe you’re lonely this Christmas—everyone else is going to parties, but you’re not invited. Everyone seems to have a house full of loved ones, but you’re alone. 

I have a word for you if you’re struggling with the ghosts of Christmases past, with sad memories associated with this season, with old hurts and disillusionment: Jesus is here, and His name is “Emmanuel” —which translated means “God with us.” God loves you. He knows all about you, and He still loves you. He understands you. He knows your every weakness. He wants to have a relationship with you so much that He suffered, bled, and died for you. The deepest needs of your life can all be met in the One we call Jesus. 

   If you want to find Jesus Christ today, you’ll never find Him as an “insider.” You’ll always find Jesus on the outside. Don’t go to the inn; go to the stable. Don’t go inside the city; go outside the city where they crucified Him. You won’t find Him in bars, parties, or ball games. That’s not what Christmas is about. The most important thing is not that you’re surrounded with friends, family, fun and food, as wonderful as those things are. The most important thing about Christmas is that you’re looking to Jesus.

One Day, There Will Be. . . 

While the world has no room for Jesus now, it won’t always be that way.

  • When He came the first time, He came as a baby. When He comes again, He will come as King. 
  • When He was here the first time, He stood before Pilate. When He comes again, Pilate will stand before Him. 
  • When He came the first time, He was rejected. When He comes again, the Bible promises that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10-11).
There may be no room for Him now, but one of these days, the entire world will be saying , “Make room for the King!” 

   If I had a thousand lives, I’d give every one of them to Jesus. Will you give Him your life today? “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13). 

Is there room for the Lord Jesus in your heart this Christmas? Are you focusing upon Him?