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Advent Burns & Advent Stings 4

December 13, 2007

No Room and Making Room
The sting of Advent is present in the mass of humanity on the move from every corner of the Empire. On the move to be identified and counted and taxed and marked as eligible for military service. Huge crowds of men, women and children, the old and infirm being forced to wander at the whim of those who run governments and empires and prosecute wars. No wonder there was no room at the inn. Those who make a claim to absolute power had flexed their muscles and ordinary people were displaced, as is always the way.

A small part of that turmoil swirls round Bethlehem, where the young mother-to-be reaches her time.

Luke 2:1-7
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 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.

December22_no_room3
There was no room at the inn, how familiar these words are. We’ve all heard the story of the eager wee boy in the infant nativity play, tea-towel wrapped on his head, who fluffs his lines and does what he, in his child-like innocence feels he must, and throws open the door.

Somewhere along the way that innocence is lost.

There is no room for the baby who would usher in this new world order, this new Kingdom. But that’s hardly a surprise, after all, we didn’t invite him. No room at the inn, for the baby who came to make room for us in his father’s presence.

No room for him in our busy, packed, anxious lives. And small wonder then, that neither do we have much room for those who are the helpless victims in the turbulence of this world.

If this has been true for you this year, then advent offers you a fresh opportunity to make room, not only in your own heart for the Christ Child, but also, in his name, to make room for those who have seen all too often the sign that says, position filled, or no vacancies or stay out.

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This is part of the Johannine Advent Synchroblog

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