Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
“Mary wrapped him in bands of cloth and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7
All doors were closed to Jesus on the morning long ago, yet Joseph and Mary found one door in a stable tucked back away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.
They found only one open door for Jesus. The question for us today is whether we will find an open door in our own heart for Jesus this Christmas. Can we open our heart to the joy of Christs’
presence in word, in song, in prayer and worship and close the door to artificial light, paper, glitter, to false sense of peace and happiness through material things? Can our hearts be opened to
welcome the stranger, to love the unlovable, to forgive those who have unrepentant hearts? Or do we want to let hate fester and close the door to Jesus and build walls so strong and high that Jesus
will never be able to enter into our heart? We need to rethink what Christmas means in terms of today’s world of division, turmoil, hatred, and polarization. No one wins. All doors are closed. So
before we even get to Christmas, let us reconnect to the meaning and purpose of Advent. Use the coming weeks to prepare the door of your heart to be open to Christ on Christmas when that holy night
comes. Work now to open that door and let the Christ child find a manger in your heart. Amen
no room for you in the city, Jesus.
so many doors were tried and closed to you.
so many places did not warm you with welcome.
there is still a coming
there is still a Bethlehem
it is the city of my heart
with no room to give you welcome
it is the manger of my inner self
where your request is made
searching for an entrance
to my poor and empty dwelling
Advent is a time for waiting
I will wait faithfully
for slow recognition
of the closed doors in my Bethlehem
Advent is a time of yearning
I will keep on longing for you.
I will try to do so patiently
Advent is a time of hoping
I will seek the strong stirring sureness
That is possible to open doors
Advent is a time of coming
I will pray with all the church
Come, come, come, Lord, Jesus.
Welcome into my home of love.
And Lord, when it is time to say:
this is the Christmas day,
I will pray that you will warmly be welcome
in the Bethlehem of my heart,
giving birth in my newly opened places.*
*(Author: Joyce Rupp, “Fresh Bread and Other Gifts of Spiritual Nourishment” ©2006,
Ave Maria Press, pg. 156)