By Danya M. Jordan
The Inn-keeper in the Bible Story of Jesus’ birth intrigues me. Not much is written about him. He leaves much to our imagination. With the census going on for the entire Roman World, you know his inn must have stayed jam-packed at 100 percent occupancy. He was truthful to Mary and Joseph.
He certainly wasn’t a mean man. In fact, I can sympathize with him. He was a business leader. He was doing his job. Guests checked out, then more guests with reservations checked in. He was trying his best to be hospitable by offering a stable/cave and manger out back.
Little did he know he was too busy and lacked room in his life for the Savior of the World’s birth. Ouch. Doesn’t that hit close to home?
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” –Luke 2:7 NIV
Anything of value in our lives requires us to make room.
We make room in our time schedules, our budgets, our hearts for a new relationship we value. Even for Christmas we make room, don’t we?
To bring in our wonderful Christmas tree, we move over our comfy chairs, reading lamp, plants–whatever it takes. Box after box of Christmas decorations require us to move our year-round décor and replace with our valued Christmas festive decor.
In the Bible Story of Jesus’ birth, the Inn-Keeper had no room for Jesus. Mary and Joseph resorted to a hay-filled stable cave, along with the smelly animals. Our Savior of the World Jesus was born in a tiny manger. The tiny manger was plenty of room for the King of Kings and was truly the first King-Sized Bed.
Even the favorite Christmas carol “Joy to the World” exclaims, “Let every heart prepare Him room.”
Frederick Buechner writes from the Inn-Keeper’s perspective in “The Birth” chapter of Magnificent Defeat: “But this I do know. My own true love. All your life long, you wait for your own true love to come–we all do–our destiny, our joy, our heart’s desire. So how am I to say it, gentlemen? When He came, I missed Him. Pray for me, brothers and sisters. Pray for the Inn-Keeper. Pray for me, and for us all, my own true love.”
The big question is: Do I make enough room in my heart, my schedule for Jesus? He wants our whole heart, my whole heart. So many times I don’t make enough room with my hurried schedule, my shortened quiet time, quick prayers.
Jesus is our only Way “In” to eternal life. He is the Door, the Gate. “Therefore Jesus said again. ‘I tell you the truth, I am the Gate for the sheep.” –John 10:7 NIV
We who believe are all “IN-Keepers.” Jesus loves us so much and wants to reside in our hearts for eternity.
How much room am I making in my schedule, my budget, my heart for Jesus, the Savior of the World, my Savior?
Please forgive me, Lord, for being too busy. For not making room for You. Take my whole heart, Lord. Lord Jesus, move everything else out to make all the room You want and need in my heart. You are the only way IN to eternal life. I desire to be a true “IN-Keeper.” In Jesus’ name, by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“I’m prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.” –Come Thy Fount of Every Blessing
Merry Christmas, friend and leader.
–“Make room for us in your hearts.” –2 Corinthians 7:2a NIV
–“ ‘Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’” –Mark 14:14-15 NIV
–How can I make more room in my heart, my schedule, my life for Jesus? Please comment.