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No Room
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It was our church’s annual Christmas celebration service and the sanctuary was festive with colorful poinsettias and sparkling white lights. Our daughter’s clear soprano voice joined the others in the choir, drifting out over the expectant congregation.

As the last notes of the charming old carol “The Holly and the Ivy” died away, our attention turned toward the nativity scene where a costumed Mary was carefully laying a tiny, live Baby Jesus into a manger while Joseph recounted the 2,000 year old story.

For me, the saddest part of the Christmas narrative is always when Mary and Joseph turn away from the inn. The most important birth in the history of the human race has to take place under deplorable conditions because the world is not prepared for the cosmic event!

Did Mary Cry?

I wonder if Mary cried when the innkeeper refused them a room. I wonder if the innkeeper himself ever realized that he had turned away the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the Son of God. If he had welcomed those two weary travelers to his inn and perhaps given them his own room, what a story he could have told his children and grandchildren! What an honor it would have been to have received the Messiah. How famous his inn would have become. Perhaps his name would have been included in Holy Scripture, as was Simeon’s and Anna’s for having recognized the birth of the Anointed One.

What a blessed opportunity that innkeeper missed because he was too busy, too tired, too overwhelmed with the cares of daily living to recognize the footsteps of God at his door.

Is history repeating itself in my life? How have I responded to people in need this past year? Have I invited strangers to my home for a warm meal? Have I given of my means to help support orphans and widows? Have I really listened to people in crises? Have I given of my time to be of service?

These are not just rhetorical questions. Nor do they have easy answers. I am only one person—I cannot feed and clothe the world. But I must do something to “make room” in my heart for every person God leads across my path. The love of God must come down from heaven to beat in my heart. Isn’t this what Christmas is all about?

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By Brenda Dickerson. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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