Whew! What a few weeks we've had in our family! We've experienced overwhelming joy and
overwhelming tragedy. And yet, life keeps moving, the sun is still rising every morning. And a Christmas tree stands in my den so here we go again! The turkey is still in my freezer and the calories are still on my hips but I've got to make room for more activities. And if my Christmas activities and happenings are not enough I can also work on our daughters upcoming wedding plans!! (we are so excited for those two to be wed). But truly, I find myself thinking I have no room for anything else.
Or do I? I certainly have no room for another scone or piece of pie....but somehow I make room! I certainly have no more room on my calendar but somehow things keep appearing and we make room. We make room for what's important to us or expected of us, right?
Mary made room...certainly her life was interrupted but she made room. Joseph did too and they were clearly going waaaaayyyyy against the norm! But, why didn't the Innkeeper make room for Joseph and Mary? If he had only known Whom he had turned away...
While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-8 New American Standard BibleIn the book, Christmas from the Backside, Ellsworth Kallas offers a good picture of what 'inn' life was like 2000 years ago. The inn: "It was probably a series of thatched rooms built around a central courtyard-looking more like covered porches than like rooms. Travelers brought their own food-and the pot in which to cook it-their own bedding, and often their firewood.(Handel Brown, "When Jesus Came," in The Light of Christmas). The hotel in Bethlehem was probably a shabby sort of place, perhaps several hundred years old. They were usually dirty, uncomfortable, badly kept, and badly managed. Innkeepers in those days had a generally unsavory reputation, probably because their places were so often use for immoral and criminal purposes. (A. C. Bouquet, Everyday Life in New Testament Times).
So what are we to think? Poor, foolish innkeeper? Poor Mary, Joseph, and unborn Jesus? Perhaps we are to see that Jesus' entrance into the world was humble. His entrance was rather quiet but His entrance was for everyone. He came to this world in an unlikely manner and in an unlikely place. It was a place full of unwanted people, unsavory characters. Yes, even the Innkeeper. And yes, even you and me.
When you read the Bible do you jump into the cast? Can't we do that? Isn't the Bible called the LIVING Word of God.....active today, tomorrow, yesterday, forever?? So when we read let's not just read an old story and barely see the words but instead let's jump into the story and find ourselves. How are we the Innkeeper? Or more personally....in my life today, who have I shut out? When the Christ-inside-of-me knocks on the door of my heart, do I say, 'Sorry, no room'. Or more truth here...how often do I say, No Room.
Or am I so used to my deep-south, American life that when Jesus comes to people who look different than me or who are unsavory or who live in other countries with other faiths, I simply walk-away and say No Room in my heart and attitude.
This baby born of Mary came for e v e r y one of us. And He came in love not in condemnation. Is there room inside of you? Can we stop the Christmas music, the shallow Christmas celebrations and scream from the top of our lungs.....YES, THERE IS ROOM INSIDE OF ME. COME LORD JESUS COME. COME IN. COME CHANGE ME. COME FILL ME WITH YOUR TYPE OF LOVE.
Thank you Lord God, that your Love is unconditional. Thank you that you came to save me, the innkeeper....the unsavory one.