The Innkeeper's Dilemma
We all know the Christmas Story. We even celebrated it just a few short months ago. But our reading this week asks us to relive the great moments of Christ’s birth so we can see how things all fit together. My prayer is that these old familiar words can speak anew to you and that they find an open door for you to see how God loves you and how He keeps His promise.
In the Christmas Story, when Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem and Joseph was trying to find somewhere his wife could give birth, what always happened? You’ve got it. “There is no room at the end.” Every room was full throughout the town and every door was shut in their face.
In The Heart of the Story, Randy Frazee tells the story of an elementary school preparing for a Christmas play. All the important parts were given to the smartest kids - Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, all taken by the “smart-ones.” But there was one part left, that of the innkeeper. And who really wanted to be the bad guy? They ended up giving the part to a boy that was seen as slow in understanding, but had a big heart.
As the day approached for the play, the boy was worried about what he was going to do. He couldn’t imagine having to shut the door in poor Mary and Joseph’s face. At last the day came and the play began; worry mounting in his little body with every moment that passed. Until finally, “when Mary and Joseph knocked, the scruffy little innkeeper threw open the door and shouted with a big smile, ‘Come on in. I’ve been expecting you.’ With that the crowd cheered and clapped and the play came to an end.”
That’s a pretty great story and it brings a smile to my face. It makes me think, if I was the innkeeper, what would I have done. But you know, we are all just like the innkeeper. We are given the same question when Jesus the Savior comes knocking, will we let Him in? Some of us send Him away because He asks too much of us. We would rather live the way we want. We don’t want to be seen as different. Some of us send Him away because life is crowded. We have too many responsibilities and demands placed on us and we can’t possibly add another “requirement.” And some of us send Him away because we think it’s too late, that we’ve already done too much that can’t be forgiven
The truth is that it’s never too late to open the door. God’s story is a continual reminder of how He reaches out to us in love, no matter where we are at in our lives. He desires true fellowship with us and that is possible because of Jesus the long-awaited Messiah. What God is asking is for you to throw the door open and say, “Come on in. I’ve been expecting you.”
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We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.