Making Room

Luke 2:1-14

…and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (v. 7, KJV)

There was no room for Jesus in crowded Bethlehem, but that did not stop him, and it did not stop God. God became flesh, regardless of the space limitations. Christmas this year comes at a time when millions of people have no room, no home, no space to live in safety, without fear. Last year, just before Christmas, a Vietnamese woman in our city came to talk with me. Saigon had fallen in 1975, and the great exodus began in May of that year as “the boat people” fled the communist takeover. This woman and her family did not leave then, believing they would soon be okay when the war was over. By 1984 they were desperate to leave as the forced “re-education” of the South Vietnamese intensified and as long lines formed seeking food and other basic provisions. Our church had sponsored her family to come to this country and remake their lives. In her visit with me she said earnestly, “I came here with nothing, not even the ability to speak English. If your church had not brought us here and made room for us, I’m sure I would not be alive today.” Then came my Christmas surprise and challenge as she reached in her purse to hand me a significant check and said, “My family wants this church to take this money and use it to sponsor a Syrian or Iraqi family. Please make room for them as you did for us.”

Many truths challenge and excite us this Christmas. For me, the challenge to make room tops the list. What if even half our churches embraced it? I can imagine “a multitude of the Heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest.’”

Life Questions

Do you have enough space to make room for someone, if needed? Does your church have room for a family fleeing danger?


As someone welcomed strangers in Bethlehem that night, not knowing they welcomed you, God, make space in my life for whoever you may send. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 25.1 of Reflections.

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