Scripture Reading: Luke 2:6-7 (New International Version)

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Thought for the day:

It’s difficult to read these verses without thinking about a school nativity play. Up and down the country, perhaps even the world over, children enact this most basic of stories. Many a young lad is told to stand at the door of his inn and say with a loud voice – ‘Sorry, I have no room’. On multiple occasions I’ve heard the innkeeper say the words with harshness as if he’s deliberately turning them away. I remember one story of a child desperately wanting to be Joseph but given the role of the innkeeper instead. When the moment came for his line, he was envious of the lad knocking his door and said “Mary, you can come in but he’s going to have to stay in the stable!” Can you imagine what it was really like on that night in Bethlehem? 

I suspect that most people were staying with relatives and therefore there was no reason to stay in the local inns. This census needed to be arranged and conducted properly and would need many officials and soldiers of the Roman government. Consider for a moment where all the officials were going to stay? Most Jews would not purposefully come into contact with non-Jews so it is highly likely that the spaces in the inns were taken up with the Romans. One commentator has applied this in the following way: There was no room for Jesus because of the trappings of legalism. Let us ensure that we empty ourselves of such things and give Jesus His rightful place. I don’t have any particular interest in the reasons for the lack of room but it must be noted that Jesus was not born in ‘normal’ surroundings and as a baby, He was placed in a manger. The King of the universe, the creator of the world willingly allowed Himself to be subject to such circumstances. Caesar Augustus was looking for majestic titles but Jesus laid aside such things and humbled Himself in these stark terms. I’m sure that as today progresses, our lives will be filled continually with so many things. Our attention will be demanded by multiple people and circumstances will dictate how the day pans out. Just like an inn, where people will come and go, things will enter our day and leave them perhaps just as quickly. 

Prayer and Application:

My prayer for us all is that we all know the constancy of the presence of Jesus. He said in John 15:4 “Abide in me and I in you.” Let’s not push Him to another place but allow Him pride of place in our hearts and lives.