It’s a week before Christmas. How has this Advent been for you? Has it been one to remember? Or, maybe one you would rather move on from? There is still time to give your heart to this season of preparation! Have you heard that Advent is a time of preparation? Have you ever actually asked what we are preparing for? Before last week, I had thought… baby Jesus and Christmas, duh. Well, actually: not duh. Did you know… that Advent is actually a preparation time for heaven. Advent is an active preparation that is similar to preparing for heaven….

So if we both take that seriously, here is the next question:

If Jesus showed up right NOW, would you have any room for him? Today? If Jesus was here and wanted more room in your life, would He have room in your life?

When I heard that this week, I had to sit back and take that all in. I encourage you to take these questions to heart and ponder them! I really have found them fruitful for reflection and even topics of discussion.

So as we enter Christmas week, HOW do we let Jesus have any room, or MORE room in our lives? Fr. Mike Schmitz, from Director of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of Minnesota, recommended one thing: you must use the word NO. I sought deeper into this suggestion… how does the word, NO lead us deeper into Jesus. He explained that as kids, we had a limited amount of everything Christmas; maybe one party, a few cookies, and a little bit of Christmas music and that was it. Parents regulate how many cookies or parties a young child attends during Christmas. Fr. Mike argued that as adults, we don’t know how to limit ourselves in these areas. We tend to take, take, take, and take some more to the point where we are overwhelmed and overloaded. Maybe we’ve been to too many parties, too many plans and maybe even too much music. We as adults have forgot how to say NO. He argues that it is our NO that gives Christ room to enter into our life. Maybe if you say no to an extra 10 minutes of music and noise, you could enter into the classroom of silence and let God speak to you. Maybe you say no to one of the 8 Christmas parties happening to spend some extra time with your family and say what you are thankful for; beyond just physical gifts.

The more we say No (!) makes the room to say YES to Jesus. Jesus is seeking to encounter us in a special, unique and personal way this Christmas 2016. Jesus is almost here, He is knocking at the door of our hearts. So, once again, I ask the question: When Jesus shows up, will He find room in your life?