Let Him In: A Christmas Message

Let Him In

I have a message for you. Because I delivered it as a talk during a Holiday dinner a few weeks ago, I call it a Christmas message. But really, it’s mostly just a message about the man whose birth we happen to celebrate this month.

That said, I hope it infuses some of that elusive Christmas spirit into your life. After all, the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ.

So, without further delay:

Let Him In
By Angelica Hagman

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a baby boy was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. But despite his humble beginnings, there resided in that tiny boy the power to save humankind – yes, even you and me – if we would only let him.

Sounds like a fairytale, doesn’t it? The story of our Savior, Jesus Christ, is laced with miracles that seem more like products of a vivid imagination than reality.

Prophesies heralding his birth? Check.
The ability to immediately heal the sick with little more than a word? Check.
The power to raise people – including himself – from the dead? Check.

Yes, it does sound like a fairytale.

But we have to face reality: We desperately need that baby boy.

Our goal is to return to God.
But because we all sin, we are all unclean.
And no unclean thing can dwell with God.

Luckily, that baby boy grows from Jesus, the carpenter’s son, to Christ, the promised Messiah. He becomes our Savior who, through the miraculous event we call the Atonement, takes our blood red sins upon himself and washes them away.

On one main condition, that is:
That we let Him.

Now, travel back with me in time, about 2,000 years, to a little town called Bethlehem.

The poor innkeeper is – to put it in modern terms – seriously stressing out. Caesar Augustus is taxing the whole Roman Empire. Bethlehem is one of the places to register, and because of it, business has never been this good!

The innkeeper knows he should be happy about this, but his poor little inn and his head are about to explode. The guests are practically sleeping on top of each other, and still people keep pounding on that door, pleading, pleading, pleading for a room, a bed, a dusty corner, anything! It’s enough to drive a person insane.

The innkeeper feels bad, having to turn them away. And not just because of the money he could have made off them. Okay, maybe mostly because of the money.

But seriously – having to turn away a pregnant woman? Really, really pregnant by the looks of it. He feels like a villain to send off the young couple, but there really is no room…

And now the question becomes:

If the innkeeper had known that young woman was pregnant with the baby boy who could save his soul, would he have offered up his own bed?

Or maybe that isn’t the question.

Elder Maxwell once said, “Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus!”

I’d read this quote out of its original context before. As it turns out, the quote wasn’t pulled out of a Christmas talk – it was a pulled out of a talk about taking the step from casual to complete discipleship.

Huh. Interesting.

So perhaps the real question is this:

Do we let Christ in? Do I let Christ in?

And I’m not just talking about letting Him do his job as my Savior by cleansing me from sin.

I’m talking about really letting Him in.

Like you, I am an innkeeper.

But my inn, my life…well, it isn’t really mine.

Christ, my Creator, built it.
And not only did He build it, He paid for it with his own blood.
And even with me as a lousy innkeeper/tenant, He tries to maintain it the best He can.
And if I would only let Him, my inn would be the best – and most cutely decorated, I might add – it can be.

Some would take issue with what I just said.
I’m smart and successful because I made myself so!

Sure. Now try that without the brain God is lending you.

Is my inn too crowded for Christ?
Why am I not giving up my bed for Him?
Why am I not making Him the center of my life?
Why am I not letting Him in?

I am an inn and Christ is knocking on my door. On everyone’s door, He knocks. Not very loudly either, except in rare cases where the person behind the door is hard of hearing. But, even if He has to wait for a really, really long time, He never forces that door open.

We have to open it. We have to let Him in.
And not just once. Time and time again, we shut Him out.
We have to let Him back in.

Christ, through His Atonement, owns us. But He loves us, so He doesn’t make us His slaves. We have to choose to serve Him.

There is really only one thing we can give Him – our will.

We have to open the door.

But what’s in it for me? I ask. If I let Christ in, I’m going to have to give up some favorite sins and bad habits. I’m going to have to live in a way and do things that are actually good for me. I’m going to have to fight against doubt and uncertainty. I will have to accept that some questions will not be answered when I want them to, and perhaps not in this lifetime. I might even have to suffer ridicule or much worse for His sake.

Why let Him in?

“He can save me” is a pretty good reason, I guess, but I’ll offer three more, with the word inn as an acronym:

I for Illuminate.
N for Navigate.
And N for Nourish

I for Illuminate

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

How dark is it inside the walls of your inn?

Personally, I am no stranger to darkness. Since my teens, maybe even earlier, I have struggled with anxiety and depression.

But even if you are the happiest person to walk the earth, Christ’s light will benefit you.

Think about it:

Light, to help you better see the furniture before you bump into it.
Or Legos, before you step on them! And trust me, that really hurts…
Brighter colors…a better sense of space…and it’s so much easier to get things done when you can actually see!

Christ’s light will help us see things clearer. It will help us discern between good and evil, and between good, better, and best. It will fill our minds with knowledge, and our souls with joy.

What can Christ’s illumination do for your inn?

N for Navigate

Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal.
Chart and compass came from thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

These words from the hymn Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, say it well.

Like the star of Bethlehem, Christ can not only fill us with light, but also provide guidance and direction to our lives. And if we let Him, He can steer us. Not only through the trials of life back to our heavenly home, but more. From danger. From pursuits that add little to our lives. To adventures. To experiences that make our lives riches.

What can Christ’s navigation do for your inn?

N for Nourish

Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.” (2 Ne 26:25)

Don’t you just love Christmas dinner? If we let Him, Christ can be Christmas dinner to our souls.

When Mary Magdalene mistook the newly-resurrected Jesus for the gardener, she wasn’t completely wrong.

Not only does Christ feed us.
In a sense, we are his plants, and He is the master gardener.
And more.
He is the soil.
He is the water.
He is the sun.

What can Christ’s nourishment do for your inn?

So. Christ can offer illumination, navigation, and nourishment. What else, you ask?

How about courage, confidence, and comfort?
How about purpose, peace, and prosperity of spirit?
How about strength, support, and serenity?
How about I stop alliterating and get to the conclusion already? =)

Once upon a time, in a land far away, a baby boy was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn. But despite his humble beginnings, there resided in that tiny boy the power to save humankind – yes, even you and me – if we would only let him.

If we would only let Him in.

It’s not a fairytale.

“Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus!”

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is standing by the door to each of our inns. He is waiting to illuminate, navigate, and nourish us, and much more. He is knocking, hoping we’ll let Him in.

So let’s not keep Him waiting.

25 Gifts for Christ: Day 25

Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoyed my 25 Gifts for Christ series. Enjoy the rest of your year and set some great New Years Resolutions!

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25 Gifts for Christ: Day 24

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25 Gifts for Christ: Day 23

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25 Gifts for Christ: Day 22

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25 Gifts for Christ: Day 21

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25 Gifts for Christ: Day 20

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25 Gifts for Christ: Day 19

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25 Gifts for Christ: Day 18

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