December 22, 2013

Heart Hospitality

Sorry for skipping posting this past Wednesday.  My husband's semester officially ended that day - grades all turned in - so the week has been one of catching up as a family, getting a tree, wrapping up school for the year, and all that good stuff.  I also had a terribly stiff neck most of the week that wore me out, driving me to bed earlier at night and keeping me there later in the mornings.  Thankfully, I think that's almost gone.  (Full disclosure: not only did it make me tired, it also made me kind of a bear to be around.  This week had some fantastically grumpy moments hours as well!)

So here we are, the last Sunday in Advent 2013.  Christmas sneaked up real quick-like this year, didn't it?  Wow!  This morning I woke up and the phrase "Heart Hospitality" popped into my mind, when I was considering blogging today.  I have written about hospitality before.  Today the topic is on my mind, because yesterday we had an open house here for women from our new church.  For me, it was a matter of wanting relationship and being obedient to God's prompting to open our door and create a space for women to be together.  Our gathering was planned very last minute, but women came!  Read the link above and consider practicing hospitality where you are in this coming new year.  The Lord does amazing things when we open our homes (no matter the size or shape) to others (no matter how many)!

Today's post, however, is not about opening your home to others.  It is about something much greater.  In fact, what I will share with you is of utmost importance as a first step in the process of becoming a more loving, kind, patient, self-controlled, and hospitable person:

opening up the door of your heart and making room for Jesus.

I have read a couple of things and heard a couple of songs this season that focused on the idea of opening up one's heart to Jesus.  For example, verse three of O Little Town of Bethlehem.

How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n;
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His Heav’n.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

There was also an anthem sung at the early service last week at church with the same theme.  The sermon, by Charles Spurgeon, that I read talked about how there was no room for the Savior to be born in the inn and how still today there is no room for Jesus in so many places - physical and ideological - in the world.  But then he went on to remind his listeners that

when room is made for Jesus, He comes in!

Do not say, I pray you, "I hope I shall have room for him"; the time is come that he shall be born; Mary cannot wait months and years.  Oh! sinner, if thou has room for him let him be born in thy soul today.  "Today if ye hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation ...: (Heb 3:7-8).  "Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Cor. 6:2).  Room for Jesus!  Room for Jesus now! 
"Oh!" saith one, "I have room for him, but will he come?"  Will he come indeed!  Do you but set the door of your heart open, do but say, "Jesus, Master, all unworthy and unclean I look to thee; come, lodge within my heart," and he will come to thee, and he will cleanse the manger of thy heart, nay, will transform it into a golden throne, and there he will sit and reign for ever and for ever.  ~Charles Spurgeon

You might be preparing beds and meals this week for guests.  Have you made room, not only in your home, but also in your heart, for the Guest who is the very Gift of Christmas?  Make room for Him and He will come in and make His home in your heart!  Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.

Make room!  MAKE ROOM!!


*Charles Spurgeon, Have You Any Room? from Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus, ed. Nancy Guthrie (p. 64)

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