from Pastor Ralph Mineo
One year there was a Christmas pageant in a small New England town. A young boy in the church, who had polio, needed crutches to get around. He wanted to have a major part on the annual Christmas play. But by the time he asked, all the major parts were taken. He was given the part of the inn-keeper. At first he was excited because at least the character was well-known. But on the night of the pageant, he decided he didn’t like the part. His one line (“There’s no room in the inn!”) felt like a rejection of the Savior. When it came time for his line, he smiled and said in a strong voice: “Come on in! I’ve been expecting you!” The audience broke out in a spontaneous, thunderous applause!
What a wonderful attitude for us to have about Jesus this Christmas season: “Come on in! I’ve been expecting you!” The Lord Jesus Christ comes into our lives often. God is always showering grace, love, and healing upon his children. What a shame when our attitude is “I don’t have time for this spiritual stuff. There’s no room in my heart.”
It should go without saying that every single one of us has shut that door from time to time. But God is a loving, forgiving God! God will always welcome us back! God will always return to knock on the door of our hearts, minds, and souls.
Jesus wants his followers to “listen to his voice.” He calls out to us, day after day, in many and varied ways.
In these days, of preparing for and celebrating the holidays, we’re bound to get extremely busy. But still I ask: with everything we have to do, will there be room in our hearts and souls for the Savior? Or will we be so bold (and cold) as to shut the door to the presence of Jesus?
Take some time out of your busy schedule this Christmas season to absorb and accept the grace, love, and healing that God, in Christ Jesus, offers. Allow the Holy Spirit to dwell in your hearts these days, and all the days of your life!
~Pastor Ralph Mineo http://ralphmineo.com
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, North Baltimore, Ohio
St. John’s Lutheran Church, McComb, Ohio
Dean of the Central Conference, NWOS, ELCA