It’s got to be the most famous story of all time. A pregnant Mary who was “great with child” and her soon-to-be husband Joseph must journey to Bethlehem to be counted in the census. After a long, tiring trek, there is no room in the inn, so the expectant couple retreats to the only shelter offered…a smelly, dirty stable, where the Savior of the world would be born.
For so long, I’ve skimmed over that famous line from Luke 2, “there was no room for them in the inn,” just blindly accepting the fact that it was merely a “no-vacancy” issue that led to Jesus’ humble manger birth.
But, wait a minute! Not so fast! Couldn’t the owner of the guesthouse have MADE room? I mean, after all, you’ve got an exhausted dad and a laboring mother-to-be standing at your doorstep, desperately needing a place to be for the night and you can’t find some corner of your home for them to sleep? Couldn’t the innkeeper have offered up his own quarters? Or, maybe some of his guests, had they known the situation, would have been willing to “scrunch together” to make room for the couple.
We know how the story ends; no such accommodations were made, and the baby Jesus was wrapped in swaddling cloths and laid in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.
I’m sad for the innkeeper because he missed an incredible blessing. The first Christmas could have happened in his house! Instead, he probably slept comfortably in his own bed while the miracle was happening in the barn out back.
I’m also reminded of the story of the innkeeper that I might just as easily miss the miracle of Christmas if I’m not intentional about making room in my heart and my home for Jesus. It is easy at this time of year to pack our days and nights so full of busy-ness that we get to the other side of December, realizing we’ve never really spent any time observing the birth of Christ.
Don’t miss the miracle of Christmas this year. Create spaces in your life to be still and soak in the significance of the Season. Evict the unwanted guests (stress, to-do lists, unrealistic expectations) that may be crowding Jesus out. Be intentional about making room.