Bishop Igor Đurčik

Bishop of Europe

Anglican Orthodox Church of Serbia Diocese

We are very fortunate to have a sermon this morning from Bishop Igor, Bishop of Europe, and The Anglican Orthodox Church of Serbia.

Christmas 2023.


  1. December 2023, Anno Domini

AND she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2,7)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

A few weeks ago I started a trip to France. However, when I arrived in Germany – in Munich, it was snowing so much, that they canceled all flights for 5 days, even canceled the metro, trams, city and international buses. I couldn’t continue my journey to France, and what’s even more interesting, I couldn’t even return home to Serbia. I had to find accommodation in Munich and wait to see what would happen. My searching for hotel accommodation was a real agony. I walked from hotel to hotel because I didn’t have the internet available to search a room. The snow was falling heavily. The streets were not cleaned. I’m dragging a suitcase on the snow. I entered the first hotel which I saw and asked them for accommodation, however, they turned me away saying there was no room because over a thousand passengers remained in the city due to canceled flights. I went to another hotel where I received an identical answer. It was already evening, and I did not find accommodation in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth hotel because there was no room for me. I also tried two hostels, however, the situation was the same and the answers were always identical – no room. At one moment I began to doubt whether I would even find a place to stay the night. I prayed to God right then. Finally, in one hostel they allowed me to connect to their internet and go to the web page booking.com application and try to find accommodation there. Indeed, thank God I found such a hotel accommodation and got settled safely. Today, that unfortunate happened reminded me of the events that Joseph and Mary went through when they arrived in Bethlehem. They went from inn to inn looking for lodging, but there was none. The Bible account says: “there was no room for them in the inn”.

Have you ever wondered, why was there no room for Jesus in the Inn?  Or a much more important question, is there room for Jesus among us today?

The scene of Jesus’ birth, depicted in Luke’s Gospel, introduces us to the seriousness of the situation in which Mary and Joseph found themselves. They headed from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take part in the census. Marija, on the threshold of motherhood, and Josip, a man responsible for protecting his family, at the most vulnerable moment of their lives faced the emotional and spiritual burden that comes with feelings of rejection and isolation. There is no place for them. How often are we ourselves faced with our own need for shelter, spiritual shelter from the coldness of the sins of this world such as injustice, evil, death, disease… we are looking for a place where we could feel safe, accepted and loved. Mary and Joseph in their search for shelter reflect our own spiritual search for a place where we can meet God.

Bethlehem, overflowing with pilgrims and travelers who arrived on the census themselves, had no room for a newborn. Not just any newborn, but the King of the Universe, incarnate as a child. The fact that there was no room in the inn invites us to face the reality of humanity: to make room in our hearts and to give space in our lives to the sacred, to what demands our attention alongside superficial and transitory things. Reflecting on the stiffness of Bethlehem, let’s try to soften our hearts and open them to all people, thus reflecting God’s love and mercy that is embodied in the person of Jesus Christ.

In a world of fast-paced life, dominance of technology and constant flow of information, it is easy to ignore the deeper, spiritual aspects of our lives. This excessive infatuation and saturation with the material and worldly inevitably, leads to spiritual neglect. Just as the people of Bethlehem were busy with their daily tasks and did not notice the birth of the Savior, so we often become so preoccupied with worries that we neglect the need for deep spiritual connection. Let’s pause this Christmas and return the focus to spiritual values.

Unfortunately, modern Christianity is facing a trend of pushing Jesus Christ out of the center of Christmas, replacing him with commercialism, entertainment and hedonism. When people celebrate Christmas today, how many have room for Him, as opposed to example room for Santa Claus or room for a team of reindeers?  There is also no place for Him in such an environment.  The modern world offers rooms of relativism and subjectivism; but in those rooms there is no authentic Christ and integrity of faith. The meaning of Christmas lies in the gift of love, new life and hope that Jesus Christ brought us with his birth. Where is the room for Someone Who could change our life? People in the throes of their duties will only say – No thank you. Many people today have ‘no room’ for Jesus or God’s word, preferring their own ‘pick-and-mix’ religion or philosophy. Unfortunately, you will agree with me that there is no today room for Christ in our culture, there is no room for Christ in our global politics, no room for Jesus in the public sentiment because postmodern ideology tolerating everything there is to be tolerated but our hyper-tolerant culture there is no tolerance for Jesus! There is plenty of room for politics, sports, gossip, slander, for slander, obscenity, lies, blasphemy, drunkenness, swearing, gossip, entertainment and news, but no room for Jesus!  For many people no room for Christ in Christmas – they have only rooms for Christmas tree, for the town Christmas parade or Christmas concert with mulled wine and Christmas dinner – but again, there is no room for Jesus.

I wonder, do we use Jesus as a necessity to get from earth to heaven or do we value Christ as our Savior, Redeemer, Divine Father? (John 14:9).  Or you going to treat Jesus like the inn-keeper and say:

I have more important things in the better rooms of my heart… you have to go back there!

Is Jesus living in the appropriate place in our heart today?

What’s ironic although in the beginning of his life there was no room made for him in the inn. Jesus said at the end: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). Although “there was no room” for Christ at Bethlehem’s inn “yet there is room”, room for you in His heart of love, in His Kingdom of Grace, in His Father’s heavenly mansions. There is room’ for every sinner, especially the desperate and downtrodden. That’s love of our Savior!

A room for Jesus is a room for a room for trust, a room for confession, repentance, encouragement, facing yourself and God… a room where you analyze your life, but also a room where you dream and make important decisions of your life. That room is the place where hope will be reborn, the room where the star of Bethlehem shines and where the angels speak… A room for Jesus is a room for miracles.

Just as his earthly parents knocked on the innkeeper’s door, Jesus still knocks looking for a home in your heart. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20). If you have room in your heart for Jesus, He will make sure you get a room in His Father’s house.  Don’t forget  the double truth of our Christmas message – first, the words of Saint Luke, chapter two, verse seven, “There was no room for them in the inn;” and then the Savior’s pledge of peace, Saint Luke, chapter fourteen, verse twenty-two, “Yet there is room.”

 On behalf of the entire Anglican Orthodox Church of Europe and Africa, we wish you and yours a blessed and Christ-centered Christmas in your heart and a joyous New year 2024.

God bless you. God love you. May God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

Merry Christmas.

 In the tradition of our people in Serbia at Christmas we say:

 Christ is Born – IndeedHe is born!


By |2023-12-21T20:30:45+00:00December 21st, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on HAVE YOU MADE A ROOM FOR JESUS?

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