So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 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 guest room available for them.
Our story begins in Bethlehem with Joseph and a very pregnant Mary. For a moment, I want you to place yourself in Mary and Joseph’s shoes. You have received a decree stating there is to be a census and you must return to your homeland. You begin to think about this and realize this will be a journey like no other.
You pack your bags, grab a donkey, and set out on a 90-mile trek by foot. This journey takes you several days, if not longer, but you finally get there. As you arrive, you go into labor. With quick thinking, you head to an inn with hopes of getting a room, but the innkeeper says, “I am sorry, there is no room for you.” How frustrated would you be? How exhausted would you be? I imagine the innkeeper would see a glimpse of that frustration and offer you the “farm” as a place to stay. This is exactly what has happened to Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
As I read this story, I sit and wonder if the innkeeper realized he had just sent the Savior of the world to be born where the donkeys lay. I wonder the innkeeper would have made room if he knew just who Mary was about to deliver.
Some of us, myself included, would like to think that if we were the innkeeper, we would have made room. But in all reality, this is not the case — though each of us, in our own way, is in fact an innkeeper. No, we may not be asked to literally house Jesus, but we have something much more important: we have a heart and we have a choice to make. See, we are in fact our own innkeepers. We are the ones who have the option to let Jesus into our own hearts or banish Him to reside in the outer banks.
It is up to each of us to make a decision, in the same way the innkeeper did, and ask if we will let Jesus into the inn of our hearts. This Advent season, remember that you have the opportunity to do something the innkeeper did not do: you have the opportunity to let Jesus into your inn (heart).
THINGS TO CONSIDER
In what ways are you not letting Jesus reside fully in your heart?
Are you someone who readily lets Jesus in, or who might be hesitant to allow Him into your inn?
Who is someone in your life who might be hesitant to make room for Jesus?