Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room

A guest post by Meredith R. Sheppard

With the holiday season comes the hustle and bustle of busyness that often leads to misplaced priorities. Countless Christmas preparations leave us ill prepared for what matters most: Jesus Christ, the reason for the season!

Whenever I find myself too busy for Bible reading, too rushed to relax in His presence, or too distracted for daily devotions, strains of Isaac Watts’ song help me to refocus: “Let every heart prepare Him room…”

At this time of year two specific passages of Scripture come to mind:

‘For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me(Matthew 25:35-40 NKJV).

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7 NKJV).

From the time my husband and I married, some 34 years ago, we always kept a guest room in our home. As newlyweds living in a two-bedroom apartment, our first guest room was quite “modest.”  It held a dresser, nightstand, and a mattress and box spring—on the floor. Nevertheless, we entertained overnight guests in that tiny room. Hospitality was more important to us than having finer things all fixed up and prepared to impress. We didn’t allow our “lack” to distract us from opening our hearts and home to grateful guests.

“Joy to the World” is more than a Christmas carol. The lyrics remind us to live looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and to make making room for Him a matter of lifestyle.

Time in His presence clears away the clutter, bringing calm in place of all that clamors for our attention.  If your year-end calendar is filling, or is already full to overflowing, and the New Year feels like it’s moments away, whether you find yourself hosting or being a guest, make room in your heart for the Guest of Honor—Jesus Christ. His presence brings peace. His joy is your strength.  He longs to make your heart His home, not just for the holidays but all year long.

 

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