Start the New Year with Christmas
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:38
The New Year is a time to make resolutions, but most of all, it is for making room.
Clear the clutter of unused toys and clothes, empty the fridge of junk food, start with a clean calendar!
Yes, making room is cathartic, refreshing, empowering.
But what are we making room for?
Do we wish to take up a new hobby, to expand our portfolio, to create margin in our schedule? We want to be better. We want do do better. We want to improve the way we steward our talents, our resources, our time.
So what is better to make room in our lives for than the Son of God?
Let us start our New Year not to celebrate another revolution around the sun, but let us acknolwedge how our success revolves around God’s Son.
The world made no room for Jesus at His birth. The inn was crowded, and there was no space for sympathy towards a woman in labor.
But Mary made room. I’m sure she had some great New Years plans before the angel visited her:
Live happily ever after
Then a heavenly being from another realm appeared, unannounced and unexpectedly, and delivered revolutionary news. Mary, a virgin, would give birth to God’s own Son. She and Joseph would raise Jesus, the Savior of the world, the Anointed One her people had been waiting for.
How her own list paled in comparison to this!
She responded, “Let it be,” because she had room in her heart. She had room for hope. She kept a space of promise clean of the distracting delusion that she belonged to the earth and its expectations. She believed God is good and He would be good to her, even if the whole thing sounded too big, too impossible, too hard for her small life.
Room for God
My friends, let us not make room for more stuff. Let us make room in our soul for the Spirit of God. He can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.
Let us pluck off the sin that entangles us and remove our temptations, may they be junk food, social media, or credit cards. We will make room for God’s victory.
Let us move the mountain of fear for what looms ahead and trust that God will provide. We will make room for God’s power.
Let us ignore the push for productivity in favor of fruitfulness. We will make room for God’s plans.
This is hard. It is difficult to host other people in our house long-term, let alone let them rule your house. But when we step back and allow Jesus to step up to manage our household, our workplace, and our relationships, we will succeed in everything. We will have joy. We will do greater things than our minds can make up and triumph over our past failures because Jesus has the victory. And, we will remember that it was His house to begin with.
Because Mary made room, God entered the world. Because we make room, God enters our world.
Let us start the New Year with Christmas, and begin with God. His resolutions will never disappoint.
RISE and respond
How we respond during Christmas is an indicator of how we will receive the Good News all year. How are you making room for Christ this Christmas? Instead of doing, try receiving. Trade 5 minutes of media for 5 minutes of silence, saying, "Let it be," when your mind strays.
How can you make room for Jesus to stay all year long? One thought is to declutter regularly. Each time you discard an item of clothing too small, think about letting go of an immature thought or attitude you have grown out of as well.
What keeps you from wanting Him to stay? Whatever is done behind closed doors or said in a hushed voice is something you want to hide from the Lord. The next time you notice yourself doing something in secret, consider stopping to think about why you feel this way and its effects on your life.