As Christmas quickly approaches everyone is busy. It’s time for office Christmas parties, shopping, trips to visit relatives, and a variety of other things that give us little time to really think about the meaning of Christmas.
While thinking about all the appointments on my calendar, I was reminded of the story of the birth of Jesus found in the second chapter of Luke. Specifically, I was drawn to verse seven that says this,
She [Mary] gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
Here is what I find amazing. We are never told anything in the scriptures about how many places Mary and Joseph attempted to find a room. We don’t know anything about the innkeepers where Mary and Joseph tried to stay. We don’t know anything about where they finally stopped other than they must have been sent to a barn since Jesus was placed in a manger. By definition a manger is a trough or an open box in which feed for livestock is placed. The Bible never mentions anything about the accommodations for Jesus’ birth other than the fact that there was no lodging available for them. Wouldn’t you love to know everything Mary and Joseph went through as they tried to find a place for Mary to give birth?
Although we don’t know the entire story, here are some things we can wonder about. First, were all the innkeepers simply too busy to know that they had someone very special right in front of them? The wise men knew it, many in the community knew it. But the innkeepers didn’t seem to have a clue. Had the innkeepers become focused on their own needs and profit to such a degree that they missed the tremendous gift right in front of them?
Second, could the simple story of the innkeepers be a model for us today? Innkeepers so busy that they had no room for Jesus and could only push him to a stable that was out of mind and out of sight?
Perhaps this is a reminder to each of us during this Christmas season that the birth of Christ is a wonderful gift that we can easily forget and simply push aside. Instead of allowing Christ into our busy lives we push Him to our stable. We give Him a place to stay where we really don’t have to think about Him but don’t give Him the proper place to stay. We keep Him in the stable of our lives but never the main room.
So as Christmas quickly approaches, let me encourage you to make room for Christ in your life. Don’t be an innkeeper too busy to give Jesus a place of priority in your life. Instead, invite Jesus to relocate from the stable of your life to the main room…a place He is longing to be.
From all of us at Toccoa Falls College, Merry Christmas!