I know it’s been awhile… And while I wish I had a million excuses to give, the truth is I’ve simply let my life get too busy. Bittersweet emotions encompass the reality that I am DONE with graduate school. However, with the completion of that chapter of my life, I am welcoming more time to write, more time to spend with my precious husband and fur baby, and more time to grow in this thing we all call life.
I’m sure your Facebook, twitter, blog pages, and Pinterest boards are COVERED in the Christmas spirit. From holiday parties, to ugly sweaters, to family traditions, and to Christmas engagements… It seems like Christmas brings out the best (and worst) of everyone. More often than not, I see posts on social media that encourage the world to remember the
“reason for the season,” and everyone attempts to take time to ponder over the Savior of our world, recall the story of the baby at the manger, and reflect on the blessings of life. However, this particular Christmas season has forced me to realize that there is often a character who gets neglected when the Christmas story is shared around our trees, over broadcast radios, and within our churches… Nobody really talks about the innkeeper.
The innkeeper is often a foot note in the birth of baby Jesus. He answers the door, tells the family he has no room, and sends Mary and Joseph to a stable. It’s forced me to think about the state our country is in today. Please NOTE: I do NOT want this to be a political blog… I am simply talking about the condition of the human heart. We are living in a time when there are shootings on a weekly basis. We are living in a time when we are sending people away who are begging for our help and who are in need of refuge. We are living in a time when we are pretending that people do not need us, and we are living in a time when we are denying those in need of resources that they must have in order to survive. We are giving people a platform to say things like, “Keep them all out of the country.” We are marginalizing and persecuting those who we find “different” than ourselves. We are choosing who to love and how to love based on our own ideas and beliefs, and I truly believe, WE HAVE FORGOTTEN the lesson within the footnotes of the Christmas story.
I don’t want to be the innkeeper. The Gospel of Luke states, “And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2: 4-7). There was no room. I’m sure that the innkeeper was innocent in his intentions when he told Mary and Joseph he didn’t have room for them. However, I wonder how the story would have changed if he realized exactly who he was speaking to. Truthfully, he was telling them that he had no room for them. He had no room for the Savior of the world, the God who would bring healing to the sick and the blind, the Son who would die on the cross for the Earth’s sin, and the leader of all the nations. If he would have viewed them differently, seen them with clearer eyes and a fuller heart… I wonder if he would have made room for the young man and woman who needed a place to rest.
In forgetting the footnote of the Christmas story, I think we miss a huge part of what God is trying to teach us through the innkeeper’s decision. We always have room. We always have room to share what we have. We always have room to listen to those who are hurting. We always have room to help those who are persecuted, and most importantly, we ALWAYS have room to create space in our hearts to LOVE other people (despite how different we may be). I want to MAKE room. In this world that is hurting, crying out, and suffering…I want to MAKE room for all. John 13:34 states, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” The God that I know loves me regardless of my short comings, my faults, my weaknesses, and my failures; He LOVES me… And I don’t think He loves me anymore today than he did the day I came into this world. He loves me DESPITE how differently I look and act like him. He MAKES room for me… And I am called to MAKE room for all. I wonder if we made room, how we could change the lives of those around us.
Written by: Logan
It is that time of year the smell of pine is in the air and shops are filled with busy shoppers. Many hearts are anticipating the gifts they will open in a few days and others are flustered because they have not started shopping yet. The Christmas season is filled with many fun parties, gatherings with family and friends. The year is winding down and school is going to be out until next year! As fun as Christmas can be this season can have a behind the scenes theme for many around. The theme is fear of the future. Really am I saying some people fear Christmas time? Well some do. Some fear Christmas because they are not looking forward to that family gathering where they fear being inferior to others in their family. Fear of people not liking what they got them for Christmas, Fear of the financial burden they now face because they over spent. Others are fearful because of what is to come after the Christmas, the fear of the unknown.
Believe it or not one of the many stories we hear about at Christmas had a moment of fear as well.
In Luke 2: 8-20: “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Did you read that the shepherds were terrified!! They were so scared the angel had to tell them to not be afraid. See they were so scared if the angel would not have told them they would have missed out on the best news they were ever given the birth of Christ. Fear can cripple you from being able to enjoy the best parts of what God is doing in your life. We can not let fear keep us from hearing the news God wants us to have which is the Christ triumphs all and that he has a plan for each and every person. So this Christmas if you feel fear rise up in your spirit declare to yourself! “ Do not be afraid, A Savior is born and he is Christ the Lord!” Declare that Jesus is your comfort and reigns in you not fear! Be encouraged this season sweet girl! Jesus is born!!!!! He is lives and reigns on the throne of God and he is blessing you daily!!!
Written by: Rebeccah