I mentioned earlier in this series of devotions how several of my favorite Christmas CDs have been shared with me by friends. One of them was given to me by a friend in our congregation, and it featured Christmas music that she had arranged and performed on the piano. Susanne Brantley, a member of our church, helps my heart to soar each year at this season with her piano pieces on CHRISTMAS FROM THE HEART. One of the tunes I treasure is her arrangement of Joy to the World. (If you were at the Christmas Eve services a couple of years ago, you will no doubt remember Suzanne’s performance of this incredibly uplifting song.)
While the piano gives the score, my mind supplies the words:
Let every heart, prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing,
and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.
Joy has come to the world, in the person of Jesus Christ. And as we join heaven and nature in celebrating this gift to each of us, we may want to prepare room in our own hearts to receive this gift.
As Luke tells us of the place of Jesus in our world, he tells about where the good news that was shared with the shepherds took root in Mary’s heart:
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,
“Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place,
which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child;
and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
Let every heart (Mary’s and ours) prepare Him room.
As I move into a new year, let me make a little more room in my heart for the Holy Child of Bethlehem. Bless us all as we live in the love of the Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen