Guest post by my pastor, Greg Fine.
Luke 2:6-7 (NIV)
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
The day we have been anticipating, waiting for, preparing for has finally arrived! Merry Christmas! No doubt, for many, this day will e a flurry of activity and celebration. There will be presents to open, food to be prepared and enjoyed, perhaps family to visit. For others, the day may be spent alone reflecting on memories of large family gatherings and celebrations. Regardless, let’s make sure we also include time to worship the Savior whose birth we celebrate!
Luke records that Mary placed the baby Jesus in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn. The last phrase of verse 7 has been on my heart with this Advent Season when Luke records, “…there was no room for them in the inn.” We usually picture the scene with a heartless innkeeper turning away the young couple. But Luke does not use the normal word for an inn here. Instead, he uses a more general term referring to a shelter or lodging place. It suggests that Joseph and Mary stopped at a public shelter or place where caravans of travelers could stay for the night. Rather than being greeted by an innkeeper, they are met with an overcrowded shelter. There simply was no more room. The lodging place was already full of travelers because of the census. Joseph was forced to find a suitable location for them to spend the night and ultimately for Mary to give birth—the place where the traveler’s animals were usually kept.
As I reflect upon this verse what strikes me most is not the heartless attitude of an innkeeper but the overcrowding of the shelter for travelers. Overcrowding! I think most of us would say we would ever intentionally deny Jesus room in our lives. But when we allow our lives to become so full of other things then, in essence, we have left no room for Jesus. Our lives can easily become overcrowded with lesser things. Even though we may never intentionally deny Jesus room in our lives, we may unintentionally deny Him room in our lives because we are just too busy. We must be intentional about making room for Jesus in our hearts and lives.
As we celebrate Jesus’ birth today and look forward to a new year ahead let’s be intentional about making room for Jesus. Make time for worship with God’s family consistently. Make time to read God’s Word daily. Make time to spend in prayer, talking with God and growing closer to Him. Make time to serve others and build God’s Kingdom. Don’t let your life become so busy that there is no room for Jesus in your life. Jesus came so He could be the Lord over our lives; to walk with us each day and fill our lives with His joy and peace. Make room for Christmas by making room for Jesus today and throughout the next year! Merry Christmas!