That first Christmas, Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem exhausted after their long journey and with nowhere to go. There was no room for them at the inn.
There was no room for them at the inn.
Mary just rode a donkey through the desert while nine months pregnant. She would have been hot, achy, and exhausted to name a few physical complaints. Then she had to give birth in a barn.
What a sacrifice that must have been. Because of that sacrifice, likely made in fear and uncertainty, Jesus was born into the world to live and breathe and walk among us. Because of their sacrifice, we are each able to receive the gift and love of Jesus.
It is this gift of Jesus’s love and sacrifice that inspires the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton to ensure that there is always room for those who are weary and exhausted, those who have nowhere else to go. As St. Mother Teresa said, “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you… yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.”
It is a great gift to be able to give back to God by loving our neighbors. But this time of year can be stressful, busy, lonely, or painful for many of us. Sometimes we feel like we aren’t measuring up. Maybe we feel like we just can’t find that Christmas spirit, or we have nothing left to give.
The Good News is that even when we have nothing but our weak and weary selves, that is enough. Jesus wants you. He understands – the original Christmas spirit was one of exhaustion and uncertainty. But once the baby Jesus was born, the heavens and earth rejoiced with hope and peace.
He just wants us to come to Him as we are, with our tired eyes, weary bones, and exhausted spirits. He came to save us from our sins, to love the lonely, to comfort the suffering, to heal the broken. All He wants for Christmas is you, with your triumphs and your imperfections, your joy and sorrow, your anger and kindness, your shame and humility.
You are enough.
He is the Gift, and the simplest way to accept this gift is to slow down. Take a deep breath and sit for a moment in the silence. Kneel beside the manger in your heart. . . and come, let us adore Him.
May the peace and love of the infant Jesus fill your hearts this Christmas season and always.