Prepare Him Room

…there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)

“Let every heart prepare Him room,” says the first verse of the well-known Christmas carol. The season of Advent is for doing what the song tells us to do. It is for preparing room in our hearts for Jesus Christ.

Just as our homes can get cluttered with all kinds of junk over time, the same thing can happen to our hearts, if we’re not careful. Our hearts can become preoccupied with the trivial instead of the meaningful, the material instead of the spiritual, the temporary instead of the eternal.

For many of us, December is usually the busiest month of the year. The calendar is full, and the to-do list is long.  But not this year. This December, many of us will have space and time and room like never before, and perhaps like never again. What will we do with that time and space? What will we do with that room?

Here are three practical suggestions for how to prepare room in your heart for Christ this Advent season:

1) Repent of sin in your heart

As the Holy Spirit exposes selfish attitudes, petty grievances, ongoing resentments, besetting sins, confess them, turn from them, receive forgiveness for them, and get rid of them like you would get rid of mould on your walls or rats in your basement or asbestos in your ceiling. Do this, and you will make room in your heart for Christ.

2) Reconcile with people in your life

Nothing clogs the arteries of the heart like relationship strife. Has a family
relationship been stressed? Has a church
relationship been strained? Has a friendship been severed? When that happens, it’s not always our fault. But sometimes it is. And when it is, we need to admit our fault, apologize, and ask for forgiveness. And even if it’s not our fault, we may be in a position to do something about it. Repair the breach. Hold out the olive branch. Make the first move. Do this, and even if your efforts fail, you will make room in your heart for Christ.

3) Read and reflect on the
Christmas story in the gospels

It’s in the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. To say the obvious, these things really happened. Read about them again, slowly and carefully. Or listen to an audio version. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal more of the glory of Christ to you as you read or listen, so that your heart is warmed and enlarged with love for your Saviour. God’s word is powerful, but we need to give our full attention to it. Do this, and you will make room in your heart for Christ.

When Joseph and Mary came to Bethlehem, there was no room for them in the inn. There was no room for Jesus in that place. May the same not be said of our hearts this Advent season. Instead, let every heart prepare him room.
Pastor Jonathan Kroeker