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
The story is told of a Sunday School Christmas production in which the children were encouraged to play their parts to the full. Finally the big day arrived. The church was packed to capacity with friends and relatives who had come to watch the children act out the story of the first Christmas. Everything was going along swimmingly until Joseph arrived at the innkeeper’s door and asked for a room. “Sorry, I’ve got no room,” said the innkeeper. “But I’ve got to have a room. My wife’s pregnant,” pleaded Joseph. “Well it’s not my fault your wife is pregnant,” said the innkeeper. To which Joseph replied, “And if you’d read your Bible you’d know it wasn’t my fault either!”
On another occasion, with a different church and Sunday School Christmas production, Joseph was pleading with the innkeeper for a room and the boy playing the innkeeper, being a soft-hearted youngster, cracked under the pressure and said, “If it’s that desperate you’d better come in and use my room!”
You can imagine the response. People were crying with laughter. It took several minutes before order was restored. In the second production the young innkeeper was so affronted by the response of the congregation he stomped off in a huff.
Maybe the boy was justified. After all, the original innkeeper didn’t have to say no if his own room was available. However, he did, and in so doing missed out on one of the greatest moments in human history – the birth of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now the innkeeper may have been the first to say he had no room (cf. Luke 2:7) but he certainly wasn’t the last. Since the first Christmas countless people have missed the reality of Christ’s birth because they too have no room for Jesus. Not physical room. I’m talking about the room that needs to be made in hearts and lives. People can be so busy with parties, gift giving, decorating, visiting relatives, shopping sprees, and a dozen other things, they simply have no room left for Jesus. In reality their lives are like a hotel with the “No Vacancy” sign hung outside.
But it needn’t be, and shouldn’t be, that way. If your life is full of other priorities, you can choose to re-prioritize. You can make room for Jesus this Christmas. Let’s not forget, you’re the keeper of your inn. You have the final say. The right of admission is up to you. So if there’s been no room in the past, why not make this the year you take down the “No Vacancy” sign and invite Him in. As the youngster in the play teaches us; it’s never too late to say, “You can have my room.”
IS THERE ROOM?
Arriving in Bethlehem one night, Joseph was dusty, tired, and worn;
Mary, his wife, was weary too, it was time for the child to be born.
At the door to the inn, Joseph said, “Is there room? We need some place to stay.”
But the innkeeper shrugged, saying, “I’ve got no room. Try coming another day.”
“Oh please,” said Mary, “My time has come. Please don’t turn us away.”
“Well it isn’t much,” the innkeeper mumbled. “You can use the barn and the hay.”
It was better than nothing and with nowhere to go, they settled down to wait.
While the stars did shine with brilliant hue, the darkness to penetrate.
Then a cry was heard and a son was born. A moment like never before.
In a manger laid, to take-away sin, the Saviour evermore.
And the shepherds nearby, by an angel sent, worshipped as they came.
Later some Magi, following His star, searching to do the same.
But what of the innkeeper with no room that night? And I wonder, how about you?
When Jesus asks you to let Him in, what will you decide to do?
Will you welcome Him in? Will you open your heart?
Will you say, “I want you to stay.”
Or will you turn your back? Maybe look away? Then tell Him to go on His way?
Whatever you do, know the day will soon come, when you’ll stand at heaven’s door.
And you’ll only get in, with a room in the inn, if Jesus as Lord you adore.