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  • Writer's pictureChrystie Cole

Advent | Making Room for Jesus

The babe Jesus came into a world too crowded for him. His parents could find no room, no warm place for him to be born, no comfortable bed to lay his head. So he was born in a stable among the beasts he had created and laid in a trough where they fed. Aside from a few lowly shepherds, his birth was unremarkable and unnoticed. He and his family moved about anonymously among the many sojourners traveling to register for the census. He was just one little babe, born into a poor family from a small, unremarkable town from which nothing good ever came (John 1:45-46).

When Jesus entered his ministry, people still didn’t have room for him. Some believed him to be a prophet or good teacher but rejected him as the Messiah. Others thought him another religious nut and ignored him entirely. And some saw him as blasphemous and heretical and viewed him with such disdain and contempt they wanted him killed. There was simply no place for him in their world. Even those who loved him were confused by him—by the things he said and did. Jesus simply didn’t fit into their preconceived ideas of how the Savior would come, who he would come for, and how he would accomplish the promised redemption. Their tightly packaged religious and social constructs allowed no room for a Savior who did not fit their mold.

Not much has changed in the two millennia since Christ’s birth. Of course, as believers, we know Christmas is about much more than the festivities, but still, we often miss the weightiness of Christ’s first coming. But it’s not just the hustle and bustle that hinders us from having a meaningful encounter with Jesus during Christmas. Sometimes, it’s the way we have suppressed our grief, ignored our longings, and numbed our hope that has crowded Christ out.

Christ’s first coming interrupted 400 years of Yahweh’s silence. Jesus entered into a world oppressed by corrupt human powers, walked amongst the sinners and sufferers, and grieved over his beloved Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her (Matthew 23:37). Before Christmas is a story of great joy, it is one of great sorrow—of a world fraught with both sin and suffering.

Making room for Christ this Christmas may begin with making room for suffering—lamenting the barren places, grieving the brokenness that has yet to be mended, and seeing the darkness that seems devoid of any light. If you ignore or minimize the brokenness of the world, how can you truly experience Jesus as a greater hope? If you medicate pain and suffering through efforts to comfort yourself rather than engaging in lament, how can you experience Jesus as a greater comfort? If you seek to escape or deny the unfulfilled longings of your heart rather than allowing them to drive you to Jesus, how can you experience as the greater fulfillment of every longing?

May we make room for both the glory and groaning of Christmas—celebrating that our Savior’s first arrival pierced the darkness, all while honestly honoring all the ways we still await the light that casts out all darkness forever.

All my love,


"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone." Isaiah 9:2

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