An empty spot

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” — Matthew 20:28

According to Polish tradition, when the table is set for the Christmas Eve meal, an extra place setting is always set out so that as the family gathers there is an empty spot at the table.

This is done to provide a place for the Lord, or for any lost traveler who appears and is in need of food or a place to stay for the night.   

It’s a beautiful custom that properly reminds us that as we prepare for Christmas, we need to leave room, amid all the trappings of the season, for the guest of honor: Jesus. And it is a reminder that Christ has called us to serve others just as He did.

The words from today’s reading are found in the Gospel of Matthew. They are Jesus’ own words to His disciples as He neared the time of His crucifixion. They make clear His purpose as our servant-King. He is leading by example.

Just before He said this, He told them that they must serve each other. So if we are to follow Christ, then we are to give our life to serve others. In doing so, we serve Jesus Himself.

This Advent season, be sure to leave room for Jesus at the table. And be ready to serve those whom God places in your path for that purpose.

Prayer Challenge

Thank God today for the example Jesus gave of how to be a servant.

Questions for thought

Do you have any special Christmas traditions that help you and your family remember that Jesus is central to the holiday??

What might you need to do differently this year to make more room for Jesus during this season?