“And while they were there, the time came for (Mary) to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” – Luke 2:6-7
It was plenty difficult for Mary to be traveling in the same month that she was expecting to give birth. But to find a “no vacancy” sign at the inn? Just imagine!
It’s also hard to see how the stable would have been the best option. A crowded hallway or storage closet at the inn would have been a far better accommodation than a stable full of animals. And if not a place of business, surely there was a private home somewhere in Bethlehem who could have taken in a young mother in the early stages of labor.
It seems unreal to imagine nobody taking compassion on Mary & Joseph during their time of need. It appears to be an extreme case of poor priorities for the people of that humble town so long ago.
And yet, how often do we also fail to make room for Jesus in our modern lives today?
I’m sure the innkeeper had excuses. Business was good; the census kept him at full occupancy. The restaurants and cafes were overflowing with out-of-towners. Everyone had a seemingly valid excuse for not extending compassion towards Mary & Joseph that night.
We too can make excuses for not making room for Jesus. We get caught up in the busyness of ministry, overwhelmed by the valid needs of the communities in which we serve. It’s all FOR Jesus after all, right?
We can miss out on the reason for all of this in the first place. It’s about HIM; the gift of His Son. Let us challenge each other to put Jesus first in our hearts this Christmas and everyday. We must never allow the work we do for Jesus to force the person of Jesus to be left out in the cold. In our hearts and our priorities, we must always make room at the inn.