This prayer came to me several years ago as a gift. Some writing is like that, as if an angel is whispering the story into my ear, and I am taking dictation. This was a beautiful lesson to me that Christmas, and I have returned to it since as a reminder of that lesson. In Advent, we are gathering up so many things, worrying about so much, and then we add in the crèche set too. This prayer taught me about the undoing at Christmas, the undoing of all that I had created or accumulated, so that I could really follow and find Jesus. Not only on Christmas Day, but every day of the year. Jesus is still present, inviting us to take his hand, but first we must let go of all that our hands and minds are filled with so that we can really see him and what he has been giving to us all along. Then we will find him reaching out his hand to take ours, to lead us through every difficulty and bring us home.
No one knew Him at the inns.
Their doors were closed, the rooms made busy with entertainments.
He had no friends. He was not known in this world.
Where would Jesus go to be born?
The houses were filled with the tenants of people’s many distractions,
with years of accumulated dreams and possessions.
There was not even a small space left to house Him.
Who would receive Jesus?
My house is small and cluttered, but I can start to clear it.
I can clear away the unnecessary regrets of the past.
I can wash out the grudges still unforgiven.
I will sweep up the anger and resentment left from broken dreams, t
he judgments held against God, others, and myself
as I learned to walk and fell once again.
I will let go of the clutching at things I do not need:
the possessions, ideas, and status,
of the need to control every aspect of life.
I will toss out the selfishness that is blind to the pain of others.
I will then wipe out the fear that keeps me from living free in God’s care.
Little by little a space is cleared.
The space is only a room in this house, like a back stable,
but it is open and free.
The windows are laid open and the fresh air rushes throughout,
blowing away all the dust of years of neglect.
In this space I will let nothing else accumulate.
Here I will invite Jesus to come to live.
For you, Jesus, I leave the gifts of gratitude and friendship with others.
I will decorate the room with offerings of service each day.
By the door I leave my will, to always follow your lead.
I will play for you the music of the love that you have inspired.
In this space of my heart, I wait for you, with my door open now.
Will you come, my Jesus? You are my strength and joy.
Come and fill this heart with your light and grace.
Come in the faces of those around me, in the hands of those in need,
through the hearts of those in anger and conflict.
Come to all those dark places where your love longs to be born.
Let us be the home where you will live on earth again.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.