Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Sunday, December 24, Morning

By Rev. Dr. Jan Buxton Wade, Retired Minister of Spiritual Enrichment

Come Into Our Hearts, Lord Jesus

Read: Revelation 3:20a

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice 

and opens the door, I will come in to him…

The phone rang in my childhood home. Lifting the receiver from its black molded cradle, the caller on the line greeted me warmly. With annoyance, however, I cupped my hand over the handset and shouted, It’s for you, Mama! Mother rushed from the kitchen, dishtowel in hand, listening to the voice of our Aunt Belle who lived in Nacogdoches, TX. Her speech was familiar: Flossie, I’m at the bus station and I wonder if you could pick me up.  I’m staying a few days with you and the children.  

The future was also predictable. Mama would pack one or two of her seven kids in her rattling Chevy and drive twelve miles downtown. All too soon, my older brother would lug an enormous suitcase up the front steps, depositing it in my bedroom. Sharing my space with the pudgy relative who never called ahead to schedule her visits, who snored, and slept with a hairnet over her graying bun, was not my pre-teen style.

Belle was, in fact, the sister of my Grandfather Bowers, Mama’s father, who had died tragically when she was an infant. All the unannounced visits Mama took in stride, treating our guest with kindness, while I endured them with resentment.

Recalling my inhospitality with much embarrassment, I think of the Christmas Eve pageant at a New York church some years ago. The innkeeper had only one line and the role was given to a developmentally challenged youngster. Russ’s parents worked with him for weeks until he mastered his sentence for the drama. The night of the pageant came, the costumed children took their places, with little Russ standing in the doorway of the makeshift cardboard inn.  

His moment came after the weary Mary and Joseph approached from the center aisle and sought his help. Russ offered his statement boldly and perfectly: No, you can’t stay here – we have no room! As the disheartened couple turned to leave, they were startled to hear Russ call out after them: No, wait! You can stay at my house tonight! There was a stunned silence, then a massive round of applause from the churchgoers. 

This is what this season is all about. The Messiah has come. I had grudgingly opened a bedroom door to my aging relative, but Russell opened his heart to strangers. Will we allow this Holy Child, our Savior, into our homes, into our hearts this very day? 


Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come into my heart, I pray. I am weak and I am weary; come into my heart to stay. Amen.

Have a Prayer Request?

Submit your prayer request confidentially by clicking here.