I know Christmas is still a couple of weeks away so maybe I am rushing the season by reading the account of Jesus’ birth in the Bible already, but maybe not. I am making Christmas preparations within our home so it is appropriate that I also prepare my heart to celebrate Christmas. Today as I was reading Luke 2:4-7, I began to think about Joseph and the innkeeper. I focused upon the fact in verse 7 that there was no room in the inn and yet Jesus was still born on the premises of the innkeeper.
When Joseph asked the innkeeper for a room in his dwelling, he was told that the inn was full and there was no room for anyone else. However, the innkeeper did answer Joseph’s request to a degree when he gave this couple, who was soon to be a family of three, a place in his stable. He did not completely ignore Joseph. It would have been nice if Jesus could have been born in the warmth of a cozy room, but a stable was better than an unprotected spot beside the road. If the innkeeper had known who was asking for a room, I wonder if his answer would have been different. What if the innkeeper had known he was closing the door on Emmanuel? What might have happened if the innkeeper would have made room somewhere inside the inn or if he had even given up his own room and allowed Jesus to be born within his heart and home?
It is not Joseph, but Jesus Himself, who each morning stands at the door of my life and knocks asking if I have room in my heart where His will for my day can be given birth and life. I have the choice as to how I will respond. Will I be so busy that I do not even hear the knock at the door? Will I be like the innkeeper over 2000 years ago and give Him only limited access to my life? Or will I totally surrender my day to Him and let Him have control? Jesus desires a place in my heart rather than just a scratchy bed of straw in a manger. Am I like the innkeeper or do I keep Jesus in the center of my life? I really do not want to settle for less than Emmanuel, God with me, this Christmas season.
I guess I need to make my questions even more relevant for my situation today. If Joseph came knocking on our front door today, would I have room in the busyness of my preparing our home for the holidays to invite Joseph and Mary into our home? Would I be aware of Mary’s pregnancy and who the baby was that she was carrying? Would I move aside my boxes of Christmas decorations on the sofa so they could sit down? Would I offer them a cup of coffee and some Christmas cookies I had baked? Would I be sensitive enough to the leading of the Holy Spirit that I would know Jesus was here?
My Reader, what about you? How do you answer the request of Jesus to be born into your life and to reside within your heart? Do you deny his plea for a place of priority in your heart or do you delegate him to a safe place where you can say you have not shunned him and yet you do not unreservedly allow Him to interfere with your personal plans? Jesus wants to be born into your life and to find a place of warmth and acceptance and adoration in your heart. Listen for the leading of the Holy Spirit today and throughout this Christmas season.
Question for the week: Are you an “innkeeper” or an “in keeper” of Jesus?