It was the Innkeeper that day in Bethlehem who uttered the words. I used to see him as some sort of villain. You know the type, dark eyes, disshoveled hair, angry faced, and rotten teeth. Who doesn’t make room for Jesus, right?
In my mind he stood with his hands on his hips; he pointed his finger; and in the deepest of voices he shook his head, “We have NOOOOO ROOOOOM for YOUUUUUU!”
In actuality, we are that villain, that innkeeper who wouldn’t provide even a small space in the Inn for Mary, Joseph, and their soon to be born son, Jesus. In our busyness, our schedule, our cell phone, our social media outlets, our ballgames, our careers, our school, our socializing, our ______________ (you fill in the blank), we utter those words every day.
When I was a little boy, my Sunday school teacher gave me the best illustration of Christmas which sticks with me today. She asked us to imagine that it was our birthday. My eyes closed. I could see the decorations, the food my mom prepared, the delicious, decorated chocolate cake with the words “Happy Birthday Mike!” and the candles.
She then told us to imagine the presents. I could certainly do that! Boxes decorated with bows and wrapping paper, colorfully designed, and all with MY NAME on the tags. I could see them stacked on the table my mom designated for guests to put their gifts to me.
My Sunday school teacher continued with the pretending by saying, “Imagine that I come to your party. I bring three gifts! Not one – but three! The gifts are beautifully decorated with oversized bows. They are the best looking gifts of all.”
I am involved. I can see it all! My Sunday School teacher is at my house. She is bringing three gifts. The excitement built as I envisioned it all.
She continued, “It is time for you to open my gifts to you. The first one…you tear open the perfectly decorated package…there must be something really special in this box to be decorated so beautifully! You peel back the glitter tissue paper, and lift out the….what?”
She described the gift inside as a pink lady’s robe with a fur sash sized Medium! She gasped, “Oh! It’s a perfect fit for me!”
In my imagination and not in my imagination, I can see myself staring at the robe.
The second gift? An Estee Lauder Makeup set. “Just the right colors for me!” my Sunday School teacher smiled. This is the best party EVER!
The third gift? Perfume – Eternity by Calvin Klein. What a treat!
Wait a minute…it’s MY birthday!
She stopped talking and we all stared at her. She had our attention.
“That is what we do every Christmas to Jesus. It is HIS Birthday – not ours!”
This Christmas – make it about Him – not you. Take time to read His story. Talk about the reasons for His coming. Rejoice that He is a part of your life.
As you go into the New Year – make room for Him in your heart. Don’t be that mean old innkeeper! Intentionally carve time for Him every day.