Advent, and the Christmas story of hope to which it points, inspires a number of good pageant stories, one of my favorites tells of how one had a surprise twist. During the pageant Joseph and Mary walked up to the inn. Joseph knocked on the door and said to the innkeeper, “My wife is pregnant. Please may we have a place to stay?” He stepped back, waiting to be turned away. However, the Innkeeper opened the door wide and said, “Sure, come on in. You can have the best room in the house.” (for the full story check out http://www.sharoncpc.com/sermons/christmas-pageant-surprises).
The Inn keeper turns the pageant upside down by simply being willing to let the Holy Family in. I came across this story years ago, and I have always kept it in my heart as a reminder to turn the tables on the ‘story” as we know it, and choose to let one in. Advent and Pre-Christmas are the perfect time for us to enact this as a spiritual practice.
Some of these are obvious and though simple, not easy. Let one car in front of you in traffic, let one person in front of you in a line up in a busy store, or event. Admittedly, sometimes this feels difficult, especially if we are stressed, or late, or feeling like we deserve our place. Just Remember it’s a spiritual practice, its not meant to be easy.
Consider too, that there are some other places we can let one in, that are not so obvious.
Let in one more person, to your circle of friends and family, to the people you invite to your table. Add someone to your worry list, your prayer list, the list of people who make you smile. Let into your heart: one more world event to your list of things to care about; one more country whose justice issues you track; one more person who would have previously been on a list of people you don’t talk to or associate with; or don’t know from a neighbourhood, age, culture or religious group. Let in one more person that you have forgiven, one more thing that you have let go, one more reason to find hope, joy, peace and love.