There are mixed emotions surrounding those who celebrate their birthday in the month of December. It’s that surreal time of the year when life is anything but normal. Trying to celebrate your big day in the middle of everyone’s holiday festivities is always interesting to say the least. I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s birthday celebration over the weekend and with the Christmas season in full swing expectations were high. What could be better than gathering together with friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate such a monumental event? Whatever your age you will only arrive there once making each time, each birthday a celebration like no other.
While there is nothing wrong with celebrating life’s milestones I somehow felt well, a little awkward, as I looked around at all the friendly exchanges of warmth and excitement, as guest after guest arrived with gift in hand for the Guest of Honor. Still it felt as if something was not quite right, out of place, as though there was still something missing. It seemed with all the people, all the celebration, all the noise, something was amiss. Then suddenly it hit me, this being the birth month of Jesus and as Christmas approaches once again, I find it timely to reflect His birth. In that moment, I became acutely aware how the commercialization of the Christmas season has made it one of the saddest and most significant signs of the times. Merchants, to whom Christ is barely a stranger, make much of His birth to attract purchasers and dispose of their merchandise. Loads of gifts, costly or otherwise, are given and exchanged by those who are utterly indifferent to the offer of mercy extended to the lost by the God of all grace, and who have never received His unspeakable gift, whose advent they profess to honor.
While guests continued streaming in gifts in hand and “Happy Holidays” on their lips. I couldn’t help but think how we are continuing to push Him out of our lives. It is no longer politically correct to say, “Merry Christmas”; that has been replaced with “Happy Holidays,” which is supposed to cover everything so everyone can be happy. Not one person offered a prayer of any kind at the party, there was not even an acknowledgment of Jesus, and it was as though, there was no place, no room for Him at the celebration. This was not the first time Jesus would be out in the cold, the world has never had room for Jesus. Even at the beginning of His life, there would be no place for Jesus. In Bethlehem, they begrudged Him a place to be born, so He was born in a cattle stall.
There was not, neither could there be, any welcome to the Savior from the world when He came. He was neither excepted nor desired. All the known world was in a spirit of unrest, but men had no conception of the character of the deliverance really needed, and, therefore, Jesus was born unrecognized and unknown to most. There was no big welcome for Him, no party, and no celebration. It is not by chance that much of the world has found little room for our Lord Jesus even in His celebrated birthday month. Isaiah 53:3 prophesied this: “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.” In Jerusalem, they gave Him a cross on which to die and buried Him in a borrowed tomb. In Nazareth, they belittled Him and called Him just a carpenter’s son. I could go on and on.
There’s still little if any room for Jesus today, anywhere. There’s no room for Jesus in any government of this world including our own. The United States of America was founded on the Judeo-Christian basis. Yet under the guise of separation of church and state, we have secularized America and all but completely taken away our Christian foundation. There are those who don’t want to call the days surrounding the Lord’s birthday “Christmas Holidays.” Instead, they want to call it “Winter Break.” Essentially making Christmas nothing special, nothing more than a bunch of varied year-end holidays all meshed together into one Holiday Season. There’s no room for Jesus in our institutions of learning. There is, however, room for evolution, Bible criticism, New Age ideas, and humanism, but no room for Jesus.
Our schools teach our young people how they can avoid AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, but they cannot instill the biblical principles that teach sexual chastity. Jeremiah 4:22 says, “For My people is foolish, they have not known Me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.” Here in America, I see little room for Jesus even with some of us who profess to follow Him. We deny His miracles, question the virgin birth, and try to provide a scientific explanation of His bodily resurrection, all the while attempting to define or discourage the inspiration of His infallible Word. Some even deny His claim to be the only Savior of mankind.
There was never room for Jesus and even today, there is just no room for Him in so many situations in our lives. What an eternity awaits those who, throughout their lives, refuse to make room for Him, the Holy One, who says, in Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” He has waited so long, and knocked so loudly, and yet for Him, still, no room has been found. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior this Christmas season, and as we prepare to start a new year with new opportunities, Let it not be said of any of us that we have no room for Jesus.