LIFE MATTERS

There’s plenty of room here

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, December 11, 2013

One of the great benefits of the Sweetie Suite we added on the back of our house last year is that we have lots of room for guests, and they can have one whole part of the house to themselves. Now, you may question whether or not that is a benefit perhaps our guests are more pleasant than yours?

We have joked that we are now running the Lewis B&B. Of course, the second B depends on OUR schedule. But we can handle several for the first B, and we will enjoy them during the Christmas season.

As we continue our Life Matters “ADVENTageous” perspective during December, I’m thinking of another song, “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne,” written by Emily Elizabeth Steele Elliott (1836-1987). Emily, who wrote quite a few poems and hymn texts, especially for the chronically ill, published 48 of them in a little book entitled “Under the Pillow.” She was perhaps influenced by her aunt, Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871), who wrote the well-known hymn “Just As I Am.”

This Christmas hymn was written to teach children about the birth of Jesus. In each of the first four stanzas – two are written below – there is a “but” that teaches how the One who should have been welcomed, was not, and how important it is for each of us, individually, to make room in our hearts.

“Thou didst leave thy throne and thy kingly crown, when thou camest to earth for me; but in Bethlehem’s home there was found no room for thy holy nativity. O, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.

“Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang, proclaiming thy royal degree; but in lowly birth didst thou come to earth, and in greatest humility. O, come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for thee.”

The final stanza assures a welcome in heaven for those who make a place in their hearts here.

“When heaven’s arches shall ring and its choir shall sing at thy coming to victory, let thy voice call me home, saying, ‘Yet there is room, there is room at my side for thee!’ And my heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus, when thou comest and callest for me.”

John 1:10-13 (New Living Translation): “He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn, not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.”

Mrs. Sweetie and I are looking forward to our Christmastime guests. We are also committed to making room, every day, for the One to whom our lives mattered so much that He left a throne for a manger.

How will you make room in your heart today for Him?

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association headquartered in Decatur.

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