In this season, when we all seem to want to go "home for the holidays," it's heartbreaking to think about the fact that there are currently 60 million refugees on our planet...people without a home to go to. Without a welcome. Who are experiencing just what Jesus' family experienced when they got to Bethlehem...the message that "there's no room for you here."
This song was written thinking about those refugees and also about the refugee and exile that lives inside all of us. Because all of us have known on some level, at some time in our lives, what it feels like not to be welcomed. We all know deep down the pain of not belonging. Whether that's because of the way we look, where we come from, who we love, what we believe.
We also know how hard it is to welcome others in. How hard it is to face, like the innkeepers in Bethlehem did, strangers knocking on the door in the middle of the night, in the middle of our comfortable lives. The fear that's there. The feeling that there's not enough to go around.
This song is about that too. How hard it is to love as God loves us. With open arms and open doors, and an open heart. And a reminder that it matters, that love is why we are here. To love our neighbors, as ourselves. To live on this earth with love. To be love in this world.
"Room For Us All" was inspired by the story of Jesus' birth, and Mary and Joseph's experience as strangers and exiles, but it's a song we need to sing all year long. We've included the lyrics and chords below so you can.
Finally, here's a iPhone video of Hannah Rand, Gary Rand and Torri Hamilton singing it with our congregation at LaSalle Street Church during the Advent season.