Today my dear husband helped me decorate the ledge in our living room. I wanted to put a couple of lighted trees up there and a velvet clothed Santa. The ledge is twelve feet up, and this was no small feat. He held the ladder so I could climb up and then coached and encouraged me in those first few terrifying minutes when I was sure the whole endeavor was a very bad idea.
He lifted all the items up to me, including additional things that I thought of in the process. After I had positioned everything I realized I needed to see what it looked like from the ground. He took a picture and handed up the phone so I could see. I handed the phone back down and repositioned. He took another picture, and so forth. Eventually, about a dozen pictures later, I was feeling pretty good about it. Now it was time to come down. Way worse than going up. But down I came, one rung at a time, until I was safely on the ground. It was a high-five moment, followed by hugs and kisses.
The end result looks better than I had hoped, and I am sitting here quite overcome with gratitude for my dear man, whose patience and long-suffering never cease to melt my heart. Of course I have and will continue to give thanks as we move through the holidays and witness the fruit of the hour and a half we worked together becoming part of this year’s hospitality to family and friends who will enter our home.
Preparing for hospitality and making room for others often includes arduous labor, but I’m sure I’m not alone is believing that it is always entirely worth it. Mind you, no one may even comment on the little Christmas scene perched above their heads, as often the decorations of the season are just the normal expected trappings. Whether especially noticed or not, however, these small touches are part of a whole experience, and I’m convinced their absence would assuredly be felt, even if not identified.
All of this brings to mind a small little phrase in a well known Christmas carol: “Let every heart prepare Him room.” (Joy To the World, composed by George Frideric Handel, 1719). And so I ask myself, and I ask you, “How do we prepare for Him? How do we make room for Him?” This mysterious hospitality is the result of coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We say to Him, “Come in, and make your dwelling in my heart. Be Lord of my life.” Here’s the beautiful mystery: When He comes in, He not only redecorates, He creates something totally new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17
For me, making room starts with gratitude, not just feeling grateful but actually giving thanks. Psalm 100 says that we “enter into His gates with thanksgiving.” We come into His hospitable dwelling with grateful hearts, and He enlarges our hearts to become hospitable to those He brings in our path.
Let’s be prepared this season to extend hospitality as a way of giving thanks for the hospitality He has offered us.
Until next week, dear friend, prepare Him room by making room in your heart for others.