“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:6-7).
I had lunch last week with a new friend from our new church in our new hometown. She is a busy lady, involved in many different ministries in the church in addition to responsibilities in her husband’s company and raising her children. But she graciously made room in her life for me. She carved out a couple of hours to spend with the newbie and make me feel welcomed. It was a delightful visit over a couple of hamburgers.
She and I share many things in common, a love for women’s ministry and the Bible, and one in particular: a love for mentoring young men and women. She told me about a young woman whom they came to love and even open their home and family to while she was in the area. I shared with her about my family’s season of serving in college ministry. We came to love so many of those precious students, their feet were often under my kitchen table. They were—and are—dear to us and many still call us “Mom and Dad.” Through that time, I came to understand Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians: “We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (2:8). Like Paul, we made room for others out of love.
Love opens doors to the lonely. Love puts one more plate on the table. Love slides over to share the seat with a weary soul. Love sleeps on the couch so the visitor can have the bed. Love opens the circle of friendship to add one more person. Love doesn’t shut others out; love welcomes people in.
In the town of Bethlehem some two-thousand years ago, a baby was born in a dark, damp, smelly stable—little more than a cave hewn out of a hillside—because there was no room for his little family in the inn. They were turned away because there was no love there. Now—think about what Jesus told His disciples just before His death: “In my Father’s house are many rooms . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Why?
Because love makes room.