Good morning, and welcome to this season of Advent! Over the next 3 weeks we will journey together through this Advent season as we read devotionals that have been written by our own students, faculty, staff, and campus ministers. Our devotional today comes to us from Rev. Lauren Sierra, EdD. Lauren joined our office staff over the summer as our new Assistant Chaplain, and she has already become an important and beloved member of our team. I trust her words for us today will fill you with a sense of HOPE as we begin this season together.
Luke 2: 7, 12, 16
““And she gave birth . . . and laid him in a manger, because there was no place in the guest room. . . . And then the angels said to the shepherds, ‘This will be a sign for you: you will find a child . . . lying in a manger.’ . . . So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the child lying in the manger.’”
The repetition of Luke 2 captivates me with hope. There’s no place for Jesus, so he’s laid in a manger (v. 7). Yes, dear shepherds, you’ll find him “lying in a manger” (v. 12). And the shepherds found him, “Lying in the manger” (v. 16).
I wonder if Jesus cherished this story of his humble, vulnerable, and meek birth, and I’m curious if it contributed to his determination to make a place for others throughout his life. He was always going to the margins, seeing those unseen, and sharing meals and clanking glasses with those who did not have a place. He scooted over, squeezed in, and made room.
He who had no place, made a place for all.
Whenever this ancient story is retold today, I find a comforting hope that Jesus has resolved even still to make room enough for all of who I am, perhaps most especially the parts I sense have no place.
Let us pray.
May you also take hope this Advent season. As you sing along to carols and gaze upon nativity scenes, remember that Jesus has resolved to make room enough for all of who you are, especially the parts you sense have no place. And may we all retell the beauty of this story by scooting over, squeezing in, and making room so others too might experience this comforting hope. Amen.