"and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them" (Luke 2:7, NIV)
Considering the “vibe” and the hustle and bustle that must have been prevalent in Bethlehem’s town that night due to the census being taken, the question begs to be asked – have things really changed that much?
Sure, lifestyles are much more modern, and technological, but the rushing to-and-fro, the busy-ness of life, has that really changed? The occupation by other things, of time and space in our hearts and lives, which should be reserved for Christ – has this really changed?
The Bible says: “there was no room in the inn”.
The idea of “inn” / hotel / guest room” conjures up images of luxury, doesn’t it. Images of comfort, and royal treatment:
squeaky clean crockery,
sterling silverware and the like!
While the inns of Bible times may not have had all the luxuries we know today, they were certainly luxurious when compared to the smelly, grimy stable which the Saviour of the world was born in!
Surely we’d expect the Saviour of the world; the King of Glory to have been given a place in the lap of luxury! But alas!
There was no fresh, soft linen-lined crib. He needed to be content with swaddling, hessian sacks. Why? There was no room in the inn!
There was no thick pile carpet to tickle his tiny toes. Straw-strewn, dung-covered floors had to suffice. Why? There was no room in the inn!
No soft, serene music filling the lounge air. The lowing of cows and the bleating of sheep was all that the Saviour had to “serenade” Him to sleep. Why? There was no room in the inn!
Jesus Christ, who left glorious riches of Heaven behind to step into the realm of mankind, was allocated, assigned and confined to a dark, gloomy, smelly stable! Why? There was no room in the inn!
The rooms in the inn were occupied by others!
As this journey to Christmas morning begins, the question I pause to ponder is whether much has changed, or is the statement “No room in the inn” one that echoes through the corridors of history, from generation to generation, across the length and breadth of the earth, from the hearts of men and women!
The King of kings and Lord of lords sits in the back corner of the “stable” because the best parts of one’s life in many cases are occupied by other things.
The Founder and Head of the Church is delegated to the corner of the “stable”, while men and women vie for titles, positions, power, recognition!
During the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the best areas of many individual’s lives are filled and occupied by stuff when the Christ of Christmas is confined to the back corner of a smelly “stable”, conveniently ignored!
I place my hand on my own heart today and ask myself the question (I invite you to do the same, Dear Friend):
“Wayne, is there room in the inn tonight? Have you given Christ the “scraps”, the mere “leftovers” of your time, your resources, your life; when He deserves the 5-course meal?”
I wonder if this Advent Season and indeed this Christmas, if inadvertently, the response from many’s hearts will be: “No room! No room! No room!” I suspect that it will be.
There was no room for Jesus that first Christmas in Bethlehem. Many don’t have room for him in their lives this Advent; this Christmas.
What about you? Will you make room for him in your heart this year? Will you do so, right now?
Come, Lord Jesus, into this heart,
A heart that’s busy, bustling and full;
Bring peace to its perplexity, calm to its clamour,
Focus its attention on you, amidst the world’s pull.