Wednesday, December 17, 2014

12 Days of Anticipation: Day 6 No Room



Day 6- No Room

When Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem to be counted for the census, the town was filled with people who had been traveling for the same reason. When they found a place to stay, they were told that there was no room for them at the inn, and they were forced to take shelter in the barn for the night.

What was going through the innkeeper's head as he told them there was no room? Was he physically drained, exhausted from making as many people cram into his establishment as possible and had no corner to fit them into? Was he emotionally poor, looking at their situation without compassion or empathy? Was he financially strained, either unable or unwilling to give resources to help a couple in their time of need? Was he out of time, not having enough hours in the day to complete all that he already had on his plate? Was he spiritually empty, having heard of their story, an unwed couple expecting a child, and chose to judge instead of love? We don't know what made the inn keeper tell Mary and Joseph that there was no room at the inn that night. All we know is that Jesus was turned away.

While I have always been surprised by this turn of events- no room for a pregnant woman about to go into labor- I wonder how many times we have the same reaction as the inn keeper. It is difficult to have room for Jesus in today's world. We have time to check our social media but not to open our Bibles. We seem to have time to not miss an episode of our favorite shows, but frequently miss out on what God is doing around us. The truth is for us, and I suspect for the inn keeper as well, it isn't that we don't have room, but that we don't make room. And when we don't make room for a personal relationship with Jesus, we miss out on having room in our lives to be a part of what He is doing around us. Once you make room for Him, it is easier to make room for the people around us who are hurting and in need- people who WE are meant to reach out to.

What is keeping you from making room for Jesus in your life each day?
What limitations are keeping you from seeing the needs of others around you? Are you lacking physically, emotionally, financially or spiritually?
What is something that you can take out of your schedule so that you can have more freedom of time to help others?
How can you make room?

While Mary and Joseph being turned away seems like an unfortunate and unfair turn of events, God uses even this situation as a statement about who Jesus is...

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