In chapter 40 of his book, the prophet Isaiah translates the business of making room for the King into hands-on road construction [Isaiah 40:3-5]:
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Working in road construction without getting our hands dirty is impossible. Isaiah’s message, however, is clear. God wants us to get involved.
Two travelers needed a place to spend the night, but were turned down everywhere until a local from Bethlehem came to their rescue. Since the name of this person is undisclosed, I am asking you to fill in your name today. Picture yourself in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. The streets of Bethlehem are teeming with visitors; and here they are: a young couple in dirty clothes with their sole mode of transportation: a donkey. His pregnant wife has gone into labor and the poor man looks shell-shocked. Assessing the situation you want to get in touch with the local midwife as soon as possible. Then it dawns on you and you say: “Oh! I know just the place for you. It’s a barn, nothing fancy, but it’s dry and at least you have a roof over your head. Come with me!”
It’s in extraordinary circumstances that the best or the worst in us will be brought to light. Life is messy and unpredictable and we are asked to engage in the name of love. Let’s get our hands dirty – and make room for the King.