Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thought of the Day !!

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
                                                  Luke 2:7 (ESV)

Thinking back to that glorious night I'm reminded by this verse that the inn was all full up.  There was no room for Mary and Joseph.  I wonder how the innkeeper felt about turning them away. 

Actually, the biblical account never mentions an innkeeper.  What we've learned about him (or her) has come mainly from Christmas plays, often where children come to a door and turn the couple away.  The line normally goes something like "I'm sorry but there's no room for you."  But I wonder what really happened that night.

The innkeeper might have been tired.  He might have been too busy to notice that Mary was pregnant.  He might have simply not cared.  Could it be that out of frustration he barked at Joseph "Get out! Can't you see I can't fit one more person in this place!" and then slammed the door?  Or might he have been more kind and compassionate.  Could it be that he did take notice of Mary's condition and is the one who found the only spot left in town for them to spend their day and night?

Noted theologian William Barclay assumes he found them the stable and suggests that he did them a favor.  If he'd brought them into the inn there would have been overcrowding and busyness and noise all around.  So Barclay claims that even though the stable was not the perfect setting for a child to come into the world, it was at least quiet and private.

Back to the innkeeper though.  The thing I wonder about him was his attitude.  Was he a grouch, a grinch, a scrooge?  Or was he caring and compassionate?  This Christmas season we have the same choice to make.  Will we be grouchy because we're worn out or too busy.  Will we think only about ourselves and how things affect us?  Or will we take notice of the little things that are important, like a pregnant girl on a donkey.  Well, maybe not a girl and donkey, but maybe a child in need, a family with too little money to care for their kids, a person who is homeless or hungry, an elderly person forgotten at Christmas, or to just smile at people this Christmas.

May we show the world this year that Christ is still with us in the little things.  And may we find joy in sharing those things with all whom we meet.

In the love of Christ,


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