[December 17, 2023]

Heartland Community Church

Reflections for Advent

It’s easy to be just a little self-centered at Christmas. Looking at the peripheral characters in the Christmas story highlights this tendency. While the star in the sky shone brightly above the babe in a manger, more than a few cast members imagined they were the “main character” of the moment. In this four-week Advent reading plan, we’ll look at the Magi, Joseph, the Innkeeper, and Caesar’s administrators and learn ways to avoid the trap of spotlighting ourselves in the celebration of the King. 

Advent Week 3: Hospitality, an Innkeeper, and God

By Molly Fisher

Sunday, December 17, Day 15
Luke 2:6-7

Have you ever been in one of those “doors always open” houses? These are safe spaces where food is free, the couch is comfortable, and the carpet is probably hiding some stains. Some people have never experienced this environment, nor can they imagine operating their own home as such. The innkeeper might have felt like the latter. The innkeeper was the last open door in a town brimming with people. And yet, they turn away the star of this Christmas story and instead offer up the last space available, the stables. God doesn’t always provide the space of our dreams. But he’s always making space for us to bring us close. This week, we’ll look at the God who makes space and shows us ultimate hospitality.

Monday, December 18, Day 16
Genesis 1:27-31

God created this space for His creation. God separates light from dark, land from sea, creating a hospitable, perfect world contrasted before our sin enters the world. Mankind is the crown of that creation and God gave mankind space for interaction and relationship with Him. Consider today the space that God has given you what will you do with that space this season? Is there a purpose or a push that would have you open that space to someone else?  Are you open to a conversation that needs to be had, a commendation to be given, or a simple smile that could show Jesus to someone today?    

Tuesday, December 19, Day 17
Genesis 12:1-7

God makes space by providing a land and a kingdom, a place for his chosen people.  God commanded Abraham to get up and move, and He will provide a place for His promise to be fulfilled.  Remember, the descendants of Abraham are as numerous as the stars, including the Star of Bethlehem. Reflect today on how that star is shining in your life. Are you pointing your family and friends to a closer relationship with the father? What a blessing for us to open our spaces to others!  

Wednesday, December 20, Day 18
Genesis 18:1-14

Three visitors impose upon Abraham’s restful moment. Traditional interpretations of this passage understand the three visitors as a theophany, or a visitation of Christ before he was born at Christmas. Notice how Abraham handles the interruption, God’s entrance into his world and home. Abraham doesn’t turn him away like the innkeeper does on Christmas night. No, Abraham offers him worship (v.2), refreshment (v.5), and a sacrifice (v.7). He hurried himself to bow, to serve, and to give (notice verses 2, 6, and 7). As God entered his restful space, Abraham sprung to action to make space for honoring his guests. And because he did, the favor of the Lord was upon him, and he received the blessings of a home with children! Hospitality’s blessings aren’t always a child or a family member, but whenever we open up what we have to welcome others in, the Lord knits our hearts together with his and one another. How can you make space in your home for others this week?

Thursday, December 21, Day 19
Matthew 1:23

God made a promise, kept it, and came down to live with his creation. God with us, in our space, working for us. The star of Bethlehem was delivered into the world, and God teaches us how to be in a relationship with Him. Take a moment and think about the teaching of Christ that most reflects your current life. What light are you showing through this teaching?  

Friday, December 22, Day 20

Luke 23:40-49 

The ultimate space made by God is accessed by faith in Jesus. That day, when he died on the cross, Jesus created a path to eternal life through his sinless sacrifice. Today, you will be with me in paradise! Jesus invites us into his space through his sacrifice. Today, pray through your salvation experience, remember and recount the invitation and the spaces made for you to place your faith in Jesus.   

Saturday, December 23, Day 21
Luke 14:1-6

Jesus, in talking to his disciples, prepares them for his leaving and promises his hospitality. Jesus is preparing a permanent space for all who come to the Father through him. God goes and prepares a place for us.  Ascension and commission. What areas are you called to show hospitality for others today? Is there a coworker that needs a safe place to celebrate Christmas? Is there a family member who is far off and could use a call of encouragement today?


This Journey Advent Reading plan is brought to you by the following contributors. Join us each week as we reflect on the coming of Jesus, the star of Christmas.

Writers: Chris Woodward and Molly Fisher

Creative Director: Dan Jacobsen

Editor: Lisa Zulke

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{extra journey resources}

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12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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