December 25, 2005 • By Ed Wrather
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. - Luke 2:1-20.
Today, December 25, is the traditional day recognized as being the day the Messiah, the Christ, our Savior, Jesus Christ was born into the humble peasant family of Joseph and Mary. Luke relates the story of how the family must travel to Bethlehem from Nazareth for the census commanded by Caesar Augustus. The Innkeeper had no room for the family and they must stay the night in the stables which most believe would have been a cave.
Over the centuries, the innkeeper has become a man of evil and we think how could he turn away the mother of our Lord? If he had only known he would have given the family his own room and spent the night in the stables himself. But that is the point is it not? The innkeeper did not know who he was turning away that night. We look down on him, the innkeeper. We feel anger toward him, the innkeeper. However, would we have done any differently? Have we done any differently?
Jesus is still knocking on doors today (Revelation 3:20), however, instead of a door to an inn, Jesus, is knocking on the door of your heart. Do you have room for Him? Would you let the King of kings, and the Lord of lords come into your heart to rest in the comfort of your life?
Sometimes Jesus does not appear to be Jesus just as it was that long ago night of His birth. Sometimes He appears to be that homeless person sleeping under the cardboard in the rain. Sometimes He appears to be that family who has lost everything because of a fire that burned down their home. Sometimes he appears as a little boy who has cancer and needs the help of others for himself and his family. Do you have room for Him?
Do you have enough room in your heart to do as Jesus says all must do to follow Him? Do you have enough room in your heart to, as Jesus says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”
Do you have room in your inn for Jesus?