Honest Advent: Day 19

December 19, 2022, By: Jimmy Scruggs

Day 19: Room

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:6-7

The Christmas and Thanksgiving tables are important symbols for our family. They symbolize for us the power of hospitality and the divine call to include. When we lived in Maine, one Christmas Eve we had an idea. We decided to invite anyone we knew who did not have family in town to come and be with us on Christmas Eve. We told them to come over to our house after the last candlelight service (we lived walking distance from the building) for a huge Christmas breakfast feast. What a night we had! That one night turned into a tradition and each year we would sit and think about who needed to be at our table that year. In some ways it was our way of making sure there was room in the inn.

When we moved from Maine to Colorado, we no longer lived minutes away from the church building and had to develop other ways to include and honor the power of the Christmas and Thanksgiving tables. I am not sure what prompted us in Maine to do this, but perhaps it was because we have spent most of our adult lives away from family on holidays and know what it feels like to be left out. I am grateful for the families over the years that made room for us at their table, not only on holidays, but in their everyday, normal lives. Advent reminds me that in some way every person is an incarnation of the divine and that every time we make room for people in our home, we are making room for God. —Ryan Howell