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United Methodist remember that loving Jesus includes loving and welcoming others. Image by Troy Dossett, United Methodist Communications.

Image by Troy Dossett, United Methodist Communications.

Las Posadas reminds United Methodists that loving Jesus means loving, serving and welcoming our neighbors near and far.

Make Room for Others: Advent devotion


A devotion by Joe Iovino*

Note: This is the first in a series of Advent devotions called, “Make Room for Christmas.”

The light was in the world,
    and the world came into being through the light,
        but the world didn’t recognize the light.
The light came to his own people,
    and his own people didn’t welcome him.
But those who did welcome him,
        those who believed in his name,
    he authorized to become God’s children
.       –John 1:10-12 CEB

Christmas is a time of welcome!

The Christmas celebration Las Posadas comes from the Hispanic traditions of Latin American countries, especially Mexico. It dates back to the 16th century.

Every evening from December 16-23, with a special service on Christmas Eve, those celebrating Las Posadas travel together to a predetermined place where they knock on the door of a darkened home to begin a liturgy.

The community gathered outside asks for lodging in the voice of Joseph. “We have come exhausted from Nazareth,” the United Methodist Book of Worship reads.

The people inside give a rational response, “We do not give lodging to strangers.”

Readings from Scripture follow until the people inside the home turn on the lights and invite the travelers to come inside. “Lodging we will give you with much happiness,” they say, “enter, good Joseph; enter with Mary.” When everyone is inside, it is time to celebrate!

Making room for Jesus includes making room for our neighbors. Jesus taught that what we do for others, we also do for him.

What rituals will you go through to prepare for Christmas? How will you make room in your life in the days ahead? How will you reach out in love and service to your neighbors around the corner and around with world?

How will you make room for others this Christmas?

Prayer: O God, open my eyes to see those with whom I can share your love this week. Amen.

*Joe Iovino works for at United Methodist Communications. Contact him by email or at 615-312-3733.

This devotion published November 26, 2018.