Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
These are the days of Christmas Pageants. Children and adults all over the world will perform plays, musicals, and live nativity scenes. One of my favorite stories about such pageants is about a 9-year old who played the Innkeeper. The young boy worked hard on memorizing his only line. When Joseph knocked on the door of the inn, with Mary about to give birth to the Messiah, the innkeeper was to announce: “There’s no room in the inn.”
On the day of the program, when it came time for his famous line, the boy, in a moment of spontaneous compassion, blurted out “Don’t go away, Joseph! You and Mary and the baby can have my room!” (Some members of the church felt the pageant was totally ruined. Others felt it was the best adaptation ever.)
The Good News is that God has given us the desire to say of our HEARTS: “there is room for Jesus in my heart!”
We only have to look around the highway nearby (Route 75) to understand the trend in highway construction: to improve and expand already existing highways. In a way, the Bible calls us to do this for our spiritual lives.
We need to improve and expand our spiritual lives! We can do this by fine tuning our spiritual lives by strictly following the Ten Commandments, by adopting the values and behaviors of the Beatitudes, by living the such divine values as generosity and many others, especially FORGIVENESS!!!
But repairing our spiritual lives has never been enough. So God came up with a completely new way to improve our spiritual lives. Instead of trying to repair our spiritual lives, God constructed a new highway, a new road, a new “WAY.” This WAY is Jesus Christ himself, who said “I am the Way.” Jesus is the new road to becoming connected with God in this life. Jesus is the WAY to eternal life!
In these days of Christmas pageants, we do well to remember that God gave us a new highway: Jesus. God gave us this new way as the way to true, divine LOVE!
Christ comes down to enter our hearts. But our busyness, our sin, our temptations, (along with our free will) give us the opportunity to say, “There’s no room in my heart. There’s no time in my life for Jesus.”
By God’s grace, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we also have the opportunity to say, “Lord Jesus, come in and stay in my heart! I give you my life! I give you my time!”
What a great prayer for the beginning of each day: “Lord Jesus, come in and stay in my heart!”