For many of us, the last month has been really rough, especially in a season of Advent when we are asked to make room for Christ to enter the world. Right now, many of us feel like we don’t have enough room to give.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the innkeeper’s side of the story of Mary and Joseph entering Bethlehem. The innkeeper answers a knock at the door, late at night, knowing full well that he doesn’t have any extra rooms to offer. Yet he sees a very pregnant woman standing there, and he doesn’t turn her away. He may not have have had any beds left, but he looked at his inn with the intent to make room, and he found that he did have plenty of space after all.
In this fearful time, I’ve been joyfully inspired to see so many people follow the innkeeper’s example of living into God’s abundance. I’ve seen people take the time to learn how best to intervene in a hate-motivated attack. I’ve seen congregations summon the courage to become sanctuaries against deportation. I’ve seen individuals moved to stand, and march, in solidarity with people in other marginalized groups.
Personally, I’ve spent many hours over the last few weeks in conversation with churches that want to become more visibly welcoming of LGBTQ people. The individuals on the other end of the phone are busy. Some are anxious about what’s coming next. However, they are embracing the abundance of God’s love and, like the innkeeper, looking at their own lives with the intent to make space for members of our community.
Here’s the thing. When we live into God’s abundance like this and make room in our lives for others, Joy comes to fill that space. Anxiety and fear pushes us to withdraw, to make ourselves smaller. We find joy when we open up, when we realize that there’s plenty of space for others, that we aren’t alone.
Imagine the transformation we could offer the world, as lines are being drawn around who is in, and who we don’t have enough room for, if we answered with a resounding and joyful, “we have enough room here.” When Christ comes knocking, asking ‘will you make room’ I don’t want to hesitate to say: YES.
Tell me, where does God’s abundance call you to make room?
We invite you to share your stories of making room in brief videos. Your stories will be shared via social media and on the More Light website throughout the Advent season. We hope you will consider sharing your video with us about how you or your church has felt called to make room.
We’ve created a way for you to share your video with us, and a few recommendations to get you going below:
Share your video with us:
- Upload to YouTube and share the link with More Light at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Send your brief video directly to email@example.com and More Light staff will upload the file to the More Light YouTube channel.
- If you have any questions or issues with uploads, contact More Light Executive Director Alex Patchin McNeill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to make your video:
- Keep it personal!
- Speak to your own experience about a time when someone made room for you or you made room for others.
- Keep it easy and brief!
- Use your smart phone to film your story, and the story can be as brief as ten to thirty seconds.
- Use one these prompts to get you started!
- What does “making room” mean to you?
- How and where are you creating More Light in non-welcoming spaces?
- Where are you making space for the gifts and perspectives of those who are not in the majority?
- When did someone make room for you that transformed your life?
- Be creative if the spirit moves you!
- If your experience of making room inspires you to sing a spiritual or play a piece of music, share your gift and inspiration with us.
- Conclude your video with your first name, congregation, and the phrase: Will you make room?