2006-01-03 - The Word (No Room)
We are all familiar with hotels, motels, and inns but these are not anything like the inns of ancient times, although we always seem to forget that at Christmas time. The inn, or caravanserai, of ancient times was a public resting place. It was usually a walled-in area containing smaller areas, in which people could lodge. A shared stable area would be behind these small compartments. I guess the best way to picture this is a square inside a square. The stable would be the area between the outer and inner square. The inner area, with a well at its center, would have been divided into cubicles around the edge. These inns were open to the public. Think of them as rest stops with limited parking and snack machines along interstate highways.
Joseph and Mary would have been traveling, due to her condition. So, they arrived late - too late to bunker in one of the inn's spaces. But, it was no innkeeper that kept them from having a room; it was every other person there. Every room faced the center, so every one would have seen Mary and Joseph walk or ride in. Nevertheless, no one offered their own space up. Everyone was too worried about themselves. Ever been on a packed bus when a little old lady steps in? Everyone sees her but tries not to let anyone else know they see her, so they won't have to give up their seat. That is what happened when the Word came to earth. No one gave up their seat on the bus, so he was born on a luggage rack; no one would give up a spot in the rest area, so he was born on the roadside. No one - none of us - would make room. The selfless Christ came to a cold selfish world. Everyone was so absorbed in their own lives and issues, that they couldn't make room for creator of life and the ultimate solution.
The Bethlehem inn is your life and mine. In the hustle and bustle, we have no room for Christ. We have rooms full of stuff but refuse to clear any out for him. We might let him dwell in a small corner of the stable but certainly not in our nicer places. If we let him have the center, our lives would be less like a noisy, messy rest stop and more like an awe-inspiring, gothic cathedral. Will you give him a stable in the inn of your life, or the innermost part of the temple of your life?
Sometimes I get overwhelmed, intimidated, and nervous; I fail to leave room for Jesus. But, I know I can turn to God's word; and in it, I find the answer to my fears and problems. This season, we celebrate when the Word became flesh - when the answer to life's questions was incarnated.
John 1:1-5, 12-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Bring your anxiety to the Wonderful Counselor. Take your problems to the Mighty God. Present your troubles to the Everlasting Father. Cast all your doubts and fears before the Prince of Peace.
Immanuel - God is with us. He has come.
Isaiah 45:20-25 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.
All scriptures references are from KJV unless otherwise noted.