Room in Your Inn?
If you ever wondered if God has a sense of humor you should see the shiner I am sporting on my left eye for Christmas. I rushed to a minister’s meeting focused ironically on finding peace at Christmas, then I rushed to a beautiful prayer breakfast where Amy Grant sang carols about finding inner peace during the chaos of the holidays, and then I rushed head first into a bathroom stall door and received the gift of seven stitches and a black eye for Christmas!
God just chuckled.
I run a busy inn. We all run busy inns. Just like those innkeepers over 2,000 years ago who claimed no room in the inn for God to dwell, will we leave no room for a miracle to knock at our door this Christmas? Will the Holidays be a blur of Amazon boxes, unsavory words in the mall parking lot, and exhausted spirits? If we are not careful, I fear we will get in the way of the birth of something holy and sacred, maybe even miraculous in our lives.
God made us the innkeepers of our souls. Maybe it’s time we reexamine how we are running our inns.
Who and what are we allowing to take up space, thereby leaving little room for the Beloved to cross our threshold? Are our inns so overbooked by our to do lists, our agendas, our busyness, our need for control, our dependence and border-line addiction to technology, our pasts, our fears, that we have left little room for the mystery, the wonder and the grace to knock at the door of our souls?
If you are like me, it is mighty hard to let go of the reins, be still, and invite a little “divine” unpredictability into our lives. There is rarely holiness found in busyness. So, God sent me a sign…not a Star, but a Shiner to wake me up! Wake me up to a deeper experience of Christmas that transcends the material and points our souls in the direction of the eternal. It’s an experience of Christmas where you slow down and listen for an angel’s anthem; stop and look up for a star bright; let your guard down long enough to feel the embrace of something holy; sign off from the computer and put down the iphone, so the Spirit can take hold of your flesh.
Heaven forbid, the sign above our inn door flickers “no vacancy” this Christmas and Mary, Joseph, and that babe savior move on, knocking on other doors instead of ours.
Christmas is about living in the hope that our lives have divine importance; that the labor pains of Life here on earth will eventually birth our salvation; that miracles and angels and bright stars in the darkness are within our grasp, that if we have the courage to believe and make room in our inn, Emmanuel will show up and help us endure the laboring that comes with being human, tenderly knit our broken hearts back together again, heal our wounds, and cover our lives in mercy. That’s the miracle promised on Christmas day and every single day we have the courage and humility to take the leap of faith.
Life is not without its groaning. We are not in control of our lives, even though many of us stubbornly believe we are. We have no crystal ball to see our future, and there’s no reversing the Hourglass of time. And yet, God is knocking at the door of our inn offering a new birth to take place in our souls. A new birth of clarity, creativity, healing, mercy, redemption, love, and HOPE for a new day. God is daring us to experience something deeper, more profound, and holy this Christmas. I have a Shiner to prove it!
You are the innkeeper. Open the door. Don’t let this Christmas pass you by.
Live in Hope,
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