Ad-lib this Advent

Fr. Louie recounted a report of a children’s Christmas play from some years ago. If you have children, grandchildren or friends with children, you have been to this play. You know the story. You can imagine the scene.

The Joseph and Mary characters knock on the door of the Inn, seeking shelter for the cold evening. The young innkeeper answered, and staying true to his lines bellowed –

 There Is No Room For You In The Inn.
Watching a dejected Joseph and Mary move slowly across the stage, ostensibly to seek other accommodations, the innkeeper grew very concerned. He could see anxiety in their faces and could tell they were tired from their long journey.

The audience could see that the boy was becoming increasingly uncomfortable. His fidgeting was palpable. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore. He ad-libbed. In a loud, clear voice, the boy innkeeper cried out again –

 There Is No Room For You In The Inn. But, you can have my room.
Isn’t that what Advent is about—making room for Jesus? And isn’t that what stewardship is about? Making room for Jesus in every facet of our lives—including our financial life.

As we approach Advent, let’s reflect on the various rooms in the Inn of our lives – our family time, our prayer life, our finances, our work environment, our community activities. Do we make room for Jesus?

Specific to the money arena, the season of Advent often gets swept off the back porch as we react to the stresses of holiday gift shopping. Television, newspaper and internet ads constantly barrage us with enticing images of what presents we need to buy in order to make others happy and ensure we have a joyful holiday. Many budgets get whacked this time of year as credit card balances get stretched to their limits. Financial resources get diverted as those debts must be repaid.

Instead, can you ad-lib your Christmas gift budget to make room for Jesus? And throughout the year, when analyzing your check book register, do your spending decisions reflect the priority God has in the economy of your life? Can you ad-lib like the little innkeeper and find a way to make room for Jesus in your budget?

This Advent as you prepare for Jesus’ coming into the world, clear out some space and make room for Him. Instead of worrying that you don’t have enough money to give to building His kingdom, trust in His provision and give anyway, in the truth that—It’s Not Your Money.

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas.