To welcome is to give space to someone. As I wait, I welcome Jesus to my life, to my reality, to the chaos, to this moment.
The King of the Universe, the One Who spoke stars and planets into existence entered our world as an infant - a dependent and vulnerable baby. Is there any greater paradox? If so, I don’t know it. This King doesn’t need my welcome, mind you. But in another paradox, He waits for me to welcome Him.
Given my pace of life and the intensity, one could assume that the point of Christmas is lost on me. The lists, the menu, the coupons, the sales; all add up to the notion that if I don’t to it, Christmas won’t happen.
I may welcome Christ into the first 20 minutes of my day. Often, sadly, I have the attitude: Use this 20 minutes, Lord, because I am busy later.
But do I welcome Him when I realize that I have put 3 tablespoons of baking powder in the rolls instead of 3 teaspoons? What is the posture of my heart when I am negotiating with my brother-in-law who will spend Christmas where?
Usually I quickly calculate how I will get it done. What will be required? How long will it take? How many other people will I have to involve? Rarely do I stop and say, “I am the Lord’s handmaiden. May it be as you have said.”
This Christmas, as I shop, as I bake, as I love my family well; I want most of all to welcome Christ into my space - to be a womb for the Son of God to dwell.
Mary’s response to the angel changed her life to be sure. Her “yes” grew from a microscopic zygote to a man who won forever the war on sin and evil. His life, death and resurrection changed the world. May I have the courage, May you have the courage to say “YES” and create a space for God to come and dwell. Our hearts are enlarged in the waiting, in the welcoming.
But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells - even though you still experience all the limitations of sin - you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!