Tag Archives: Luke 2:1-7

No Place

Luke 2:1-7

We were busy enough as it was.  All these people, coming home to register.  Just two more?  Well I suppose we can squeeze them in, but these are definitely the last two!

We had a nice life, settled, sorted – just going along.  But letting that couple in that night changed everything, nothing was ever quite the same again afterwards.

We opened our lives, and after what happened here, our hearts too – and somehow, without us realizing, God moved in.  Jesus came here.  How could things ever go back to how they had been?

New life was born here, changed priorities, opportunities presented, hope re-kindled.  And with that welcoming of God, came a whole rush of other people to welcome too…

Lord, your coming changes everything.
I thought life was ok,
but then you burst into it.
And everything is somehow different,
even when it appears the same.

You have brought your life,
your hope,
your presence.

As I welcome you
may I make room,
and allow you to have an impact
on what you find there.

Taken from my 2015 book Voices Through Advent and Christmas, available through Moorleys

No Room #Advent

I discovered these Advent videos from WordLive (which is in itself a great daily bible study resource) – better late then never on my behalf,  but there’s still chance to catch up.

Watching today’s brought a thought that had never crossed my mind before.  We are used to seeing Nativities where poor Joseph goes knocking on many doors, be they inn-keepers or family members doesn’t really matter.  The bible passage (Luke 2:1-7) doesn’t actually mention that search, only that there was no room at the inn, but it has become enough of the ‘accepted’ account of the birth narratives that it can at least give us pause to think.

Anyway, all this is a roundabout way of getting to my question:

How many people had the opportunity, if only they knew it, for the son of God to be born in their lives, and turned him away?

How many people turned Joseph away – and with him that chance?  (Joseph) stands at the door and knocks.  Will we help?  Let him in?  We may be turning away the opportunity to welcome Christ if we turn away the stranger or those in need of shelter – and what blessings we will receive if we let them into our life.

Is there room in me to answer that knock, to find a space – or will I turn him away, for I have no room?  Will I close the door in the face of God when he comes knocking – or fling it wide?

may I realise
the opportunities you give me.
When I see inconvenience,
disturbance and mess,
may I realise
that it is you asking,
you waiting to come in.

I want to welcome you,
may I not miss the opportunity
by thinking I have no room,
but answering the knock
and welcoming you in.

Martha iii #adventbookclub

Luke 2:1-7 (CEV)

The Birth of Jesus

About that time Emperor Augustus gave orders for the names of all the people to be listed in record books.These first records were made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed.So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family.

Mary was engaged to Joseph and travelled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there, she gave birth to her first-born son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn.

If you were thinking of the ideal place for God’s son to be born, where would you choose?  A palace – we already know there were those who thought that!  A place of wealth, with many attendants?  At least somewhere clean and healthy away from danger surely?

But that was not how it worked out.  Martha’s tale reminds us vividly of the mess and the filth that would have been his place.  Oh and the smell!  To me, it’s important that God chose to be born there.  For that is real, gritty life.  And that is what God is about.

Not for you Lord,
the clean,
sterile environment
for your coming to birth.

Not the kind of place I would have chosen,
but a real place,
of life
and mess.

Forgive me
when I try and sanitise your message,
keep you clean,
set you apart.

Thank you that you come,
not to some ‘perfect’ construct
of my imagining,
but to reality.

That you are not a God
of the pristine and set apart,
but to where life is ,
however dirty,
or inconvenient
– you are there. 

Join us reading Walking Backwards to Christmas by Stephen Cottrell from SPCK Publishing this advent.  Be part of #adventbookclub, share your thoughts here, on your own blog (and let us know we’ll link to it), on Twitter using #adventbookclub or on the Adventbookclub Facebook page