Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

I had the joyful experience of visiting the preschoolers in their outdoor classroom today. They excitedly lined up on their little stump seats to wait for my Bible story. Today, though, I didn’t bring my Bible. Instead, I brought one of my favorite Christmas books, “Room for a Little One,” by Martin Waddell. This beautiful book combines three of my favorite things: children’s books, farm animals, and faith.

This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a cold night when Kind Ox was settled in the stable, cozy and warm. Soon, Old Dog wandered by, shivering in the cold. Kind Ox invited him in, assuring him that there was “always room for a little one.” When Stray Cat peered in, she was scared of the dog. He promised her that she would be safe, and Kind Ox told her that there was “always room for a little one.” They were eventually joined by Small Mouse, who found that there was “always room for a little one.”

The animals were warmly snuggled in the hay when Tired Donkey arrived, led by Joseph, and carrying Mary. When the couple could not find a room, Kind Ox invited Tired Donkey into the stable, telling him that “there is always room for a little one.”

The tiny stable, beside the inn, turned out to be the coziest place for Mary and Joseph to welcome the arrival of baby Jesus. The final page reads, “That cold winter’s night, beneath the star’s light… a Little One came for the world.”

And that little one turned out to be so very important. Jesus came into this world in such a simple way. A tiny baby, born to a lowly couple, in a stable behind the inn. It is beautiful to be reminded each year that our Lord, our King, chose to present himself in such a small and insignificant way.

I love the simple story line in this beautiful book, reminding us that there is always room for a little one. The animals all recognized that each had a need, and they (following the lead of Kind Ox), offered to share what little that they had. They each moved over to make room for the next little one.

It’s beautiful imagery; making room for each other. Perhaps this story can help us all to remember to make room for others. Make room for the car that cuts you off in traffic, make room for the customer who’s having a bad day, make room for your family members who are feeling stressed. Maybe we all need to be aware, and help to make room for others.

Perhaps it can also remind us that God has already made room for each and every one of us. Like the Small Mouse, we have nothing to fear, because there is room for us. There is a safe, cozy place for each and every one of us. Every little one of us.

There is always room for a little one.

Deacon Amy