Wed., Dec. 28, 2016
Luke 2:7 – 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.
My husband’s favorite character of the nativity is the Innkeeper. Various times over the years, he has been the person who has barked while dressed as the Innkeeper, “What do you want? We’re out of room!”
Christmas Eve 2016, he was the Innkeeper once again. But a kinder, gentler version than the barking one. Actually, he was portrayed as a younger generation of the Innkeeper who turned him away from his inn and towards his stable. This is the Innkeeper who makes room for the couple and their baby when no one else would. Even if the spot was the stinky, smelly stable.
On Christmas Eve, I used the example of us needing a hotel and calling lots of hotels, only for them to all be booked. Would we be happy if a desk clerk suggested that while the hotel didn’t have any rooms available, they Could put us up in the public restroom for the evening. Would this suffice? Of course, we would turn up our noses at this suggestion. But this is the equivalent of where Mary and Joseph hunkered down for the night so their baby could be born. My inclination is they were very happy with the public restroom option.
It goes back to the Innkeeper getting creative and offering something. He couldn’t remove one of his other guests so he makes something, anything available. While he suggestion may turn us off today, he used what he had available and made it work.
The Innkeeper isn’t named in scripture. Why? So each one of us can be an Innkeeper. We can be modern-day Innkeepers in which we help someone else. But how often do we turn people away? Withhold opportunities to be of help?
Our lives, including mine, get so full and so busy that we fail to find room to be Innkeepers. Likewise, we also fail to make room for the Messiah in our lives. We try to fill our unfulfilled lives with things of this world, which never really satisfy us. There IS something that can fill us: God’s love. But do we make room?
In these days between Christmas and New Year’s, I’m looking for ways that I can be a modern-day Innkeeper. Sometimes, I say, “Yes.” Honestly, there are times I really want to say, “No.” I pray God continues to be patient with me.
Lord God – our world needs more Innkeepers: people who are willing to be creative and partner with you in extending grace to the world. Be patient with us when we aren’t sure we want to be Innkeepers. Open our hearts and eyes to opportunities that lie before us. Place in our hearts the desire to make room for you in our daily lives. Amen.
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