“One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied. This is the answer that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ.” – Billy Graham.
Christmas is the most anticipated, celebrated, and advertised holiday of the year. To some, it’s a secular holiday, focused on giving and receiving, long in coming and short in true celebration, leaving little in its wake but exhaustion, debt, and disappointment. To the believer, Christmas is one of the most precious times of the year. Christmas reminds us that “The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:11).
You’ve read this story a hundred times. You’ve heard it sung, and talked about it to the point you could recite it in your sleep. But during the very first Christmas, there was a person that missed the opportunity to be part of one of the greatest events of all time. The Bible doesn’t tell us the name of this man, but Christmas was literally out his back door, but he missed it.
He met a pregnant woman with a child but he had no room for them. He wouldn’t make room for them. Surely he could have rolled out a mat on the floor of his own home had he been willing to inconvenience himself. But he wasn’t. The One who is the most famous Man in all of history, and more than a Man, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace who gave us Christmas, who is Christmas, could not find a room to be born in. And so the innkeeper missed Christmas.
He wasn’t an evil man, and he probably wasn’t unloving or unsympathetic. He wasn’t angry or belligerent. He wasn’t even indifferent. He was just busy. Too busy. We are so busy at Christmas that even as you read this you are probably thinking of all the things you need to be doing. And you probably don’t think that you have any time for Jesus in your life. The problem, however, isn’t that you don’t have room for Jesus. It’s that you haven’t made room for Jesus. In order to experience the power of Jesus in your life, you need to make room for Him. The reality is that if you need to make room for anything in your life, it’s Jesus!
If the innkeeper had known he had God in his stable, we can be sure he would evict every other customer and given Mary and Joseph a run of their whole place. But he didn’t know just as many people today do not know who Christ is, or that He is here, with and among us.
In this advent season think about your life. Have you spent more time shopping or decorating or baking than you have loving and serving others? Have you spent more money on stuff, than you have on investing in His Kingdom? Have you given more of your time and energy to the busy pursuits of life than to building relationships with people?
The innkeeper missed Christmas. Let us not miss it as well.
- It is common to be too preoccupied to make room for Jesus. What about you?
- What are some excuses that we might offer for missing Christmas?