Joy to the world the Lord is come,

Let earth receive her King,,

Let every heart prepare Him room,

And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven and nature sing,

And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.

(From Psalm 98) Issac Watts

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PREPARE HIM ROOM

(A Meditation at Christmas Time)

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Isaac Watts was a very interesting man. He was born in 1674 and lived to 1748. He was well cared for as he lived with an Aristocratic family who valued the writing he did. He wrote “Joy to the World”, the very famous Christmas song we sing today. In that writing are the words “let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing.”

These words are not simply lyrics thrown in as filler, but speak to us about literally allowing room in our hearts for the Savior of the World!

He took his inspiration from Psalms 98 which speaks of singing to the Lord, of shouting, and of great Joy because the Lord “has made known his salvation”. It speaks of the Lord as Victorious over all things and makes the statement that “His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the Victory!”

Isaac Watts’ three words “prepare Him room” echo down through the ages with profound meaning today in 2016!

The very first person who had to “prepare Him room” was His mother, Mary.

Mary was a young woman who was probably very happy about her engagement to Joseph and like any young woman, would have been thinking about her upcoming wedding day and the Joy it would bring to her heart. But suddenly, her life was completely changed with the visit from the Angel Gabriel announcing that she was chosen and “favored amongst women” to be the mother of the Son of God!

Mary, being at first disturbed and deeply troubled by the visitation of the Angel Gabriel, nevertheless received the word of the Lord and made a confirming statement:”Let it be to me according to your word.”

At that moment Mary knew that the God of the Universe had an even greater plan for her than even her marriage to Joseph. She knew she would be carrying a child. She knew this would not be met with approval by anyone who knew her. She knew it would “cost” her. She did not know at that moment what Joseph would say or do. She knew her life could be in danger because of this pregnancy.

Nevertheless, she agreed with the word of the Lord “So be it unto me as you have said” and made a decision to open her heart and her life to make room for Him, the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind.

She even went so far as to sing a song about the event which is written in Luke 1.

“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced n God my Savior for He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.”

Mary was the first person who had to move herself and her entire future out of the way to prepare room for the baby growing within her womb, this unplanned pregnancy that would change mankind’s future forever!

Thankfully Mary made the right decision and she decided to prepare Him room.

Next, Joseph had to do the same. After all, Joseph would be responsible on this earth for raising this baby and being his “earthly” father! It was a daunting task to say the least, and Joseph had to come to the same decision as Mary. He had to “prepare Him room” in his heart. Joseph had dreams of having his own children with Mary; but suddenly everything in his life and his plans were put on hold in order to prepare room for this Christ-Child.

This was a tall order in the day where women could be stoned to death for infidelity. But God worked it all out and saved them both from the evil that surrounded them!

Of course we know that when the baby Jesus came to birth there was “no room for them in the inn”.

Once again, “room” had to be made for this child to even be born. This was no hospital, no clean bedding, no doctor in attendance for the most revered birth of all time!

Instead there was only a manger bed, a place with a feeding trough for the animals there, a very humble and lowly place to lay the precious child that would save all of mankind. But no other room for him would be given at the inn!

But how fitting a place, the room that God had prepared for His Son held a  feeding trough in which baby Jesus was laid; a symbol of His being “food”. I am reminded of His words “This is my body. This is my blood…” and the scripture “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Jesus always “fed His sheep”. He was, after all, the very Word of God incarnate.

 His birth symbolized his work on earth and even his death.

The blood that covered Jesus as a baby was a preview of the blood that would surround him on the cross where He paid for our sins.

There were those who were not going to “prepare Him room.” The Jews and the Pharisees of the day were not going to allow Him room in their hearts and they led Him to Calvary’s Cross to be destroyed in the worst possible way!

To prepare the room for Christ in our hearts, we have to realize that it will change us forever! We will become, like Christ, a child of the Living God by our faith in Him, and His Presence within our hearts will move other things out of the way. Just as Mary and Joseph had to move their plans around to accommodate the Christ child, Jesus, we will be required to move some things around in our lives to accommodate His Presence, His Spirit within us!

Our days are full. Our days are busy. We are employed. We are parents. We are grandparents. We are caretakers. We are professionals. We have lists. We have doctor’s appointments. We have our own children to raise. We have meetings to go to and we have songs to sing!

All our songs of worship are beautiful to God!

But I remember one day when I was driving my car to a church meeting and the Lord spoke to me “Worshipping me is not about singing a slow song….it is about a lifestyle.”

I’ve never forgotten those words He spoke to me that Sunday morning! That  lifestyle is about “preparing Him room” in our everyday life;  preparing Him room in our day, in our activities, in our time alone.

Like Mary, may all of us say “So be it unto me as you have said,” and make the decision to prepare Him room in our hearts every day.

 

Sondra Stallman

Sounds of Heaven Ministries

 

 

 

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