The Sound Of Christmas

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading

Devotional

No Room for Jesus

Lyrics by David Binion

No room in the inn for the Savior

Sadly they turned Him away

Just send them on out to the stable

Let Him be born

With the sheep and the hay

No room for Jesus

Busy, busy, busy! People everywhere. The whole nation of Israel had been summoned to be counted in the census. Crowded streets and no vacancies. And Mary, pregnant with The Promise, knows that it’s time for The Arrival. And the Son of Man has no place to lay his head except for a feeding trough where the animals feed. No room for Jesus.

Busy, busy, busy! People everywhere. Crowded churches. Multiple services, and full parking lots. Get ‘em in, then get ‘em out. Have to make room for more people. Pregnant with the Promise of His Presence, but we have no room in our services to accommodate the One we have gathered to worship. Lord, come sit here. Inhabit our praise, but we only have 15 minutes reserved for You. We have people to count, announcements to make, offerings to receive, and sermons to preach. No room for Jesus.

But the people! What about the people? We have to do the census. We have to count them. Then we have to count how much money they give. If they don’t give, we won’t be able to continue doing the same thing next week. And don’t forget the coffee and donuts in the lobby. We have to accommodate people if we want them to come back.

Wait a minute! Are you saying we’ve got it all wrong? Perhaps. Maybe we’re close? Maybe we just need to adjust our priorities.

Busy, busy, busy! In Luke 10, Martha was in the kitchen serving up sandwiches that Jesus never ordered, while Mary chose to sit at his feet. Mary had a different priority. And Scripture says that Mary has chosen what is better.

In Matthew 26, the disciples said, “Why this waste?” in response to the woman who poured her alabaster flask of costly fragrant oil on Jesus’s head. It concerns me sometimes when I sit with church consultants, men who have never pastored churches or led worship, but insist that the sermons be shorter, and the worship be condensed because too much worship is a “waste of time.” “Why this waste?”

In Matthew 22 Jesus turned it all upside down: “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:34-39NKJV

What is the greatest commandment? We’ve said, “We’re going love Him by doingthings for Him. That is actually the 2nd commandment--loving people. We often mistake the first commandment for the second. But doing the second isn’t the first. The first is actually loving Him.

We love ministering to people because it makes us feel productive. But that is not the same as ministering to Him. God loves spending time with you! 

Now I’m not suggesting that we do away with the structure we’ve created to serve the people of God. There is obvious favor on many of our churches where we have to navigate the thousands of people coming in every week. If 15-20 minutes is what we have to offer in worship during our church services, I’m suggesting that we shift our priority and make those 20 minutes the most important part of the service; that the sound we release will be the most passionate expression of the service. We can measure the amount of people who come, and how much work we do to serve them. But may we never be able to measure the passion in our hearts as we love the Lord with all of our hearts as it relates to worship. 

Make room for Jesus. In this season of joy and gladness, make time for Him. He loves to spend time with you. He loves to hear your heart song.