No Room in the Inn
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” —Luke 2:7 Doubtless there seemed to be very good reasons, at least in the minds of the innkeeper, why it was impossible to entertain Joseph and Mary when they came to Bethlehem to be taxed. There must have been many other Bethlehemites who had hastened thither in order that they too might be properly enrolled. Probably many of these were much better able to pay for accommodations than the Nazareth carpenter and his young espoused wife and so they had to make the best of the only accommodation available, a cave, which was in all likelihood closely connected with the inn and which was ordinarily used as a stable. There in that humble place, He who was Son of God and Son of Mary, was born, and found His first cradle in the stone manger from which the cattle had been accustomed to feed.
One cannot but wonder, however, whether the innkeeper himself ever realized what a wondrous guest he had failed to find room for. One can well imagine what his feelings are today. He knows now that the child born that night was God’s own Son, who had become Man, in grace, for our redemption. Surely, if he never learned on earth the identity of the family turned away from his door, he must regret now that he did not make it possible to enter them, no matter how crowded the inn might have been.
And this leads one to ask the question, have we made room for Him, who came in lowly grace seeking the lost, or have we turned Him away from our heart’s door? How many there are who are keeping Christmas, who have never yet found room for the Christ, the anniversary of whose nativity is observed on December 25 of each year. While no one knows exactly when Christ was born, yet the day set apart in memory of His birth is recognized throughout Christendom as speaking of the incarnation of God the Son, yet thousands will spend that day in unholy revels who are strangers to the blessed One who was born of a virgin mother in a Bethlehem stable and at last died for sinners on Calvary’s cross.
The commercialization of the Christmas season is one of the saddest and most significant signs of the times. Merchants, to whom Christ is a stranger, make much of His birth in order to attract purchasers and dispose of their merchandise. Myriads of gifts, costly or otherwise, are given and exchanged by those who are absolutely indifferent to the offer of mercy extended to the lost by the God of all grace, and who have never received His unspeakable gift, whose advent they profess to honor.
No room in the inn of old and, in oh so many cases, no room in the heart today, for Him, who created the universe, and yet designs to dwell within the heart of the humble and the contrite who turn to God in repentance and receive His gift in faith.
What an eternity awaits those who, throughout all their lives, refuse to make room for Him, the Holy One, who says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” He has waited so long, and knocked so loudly, and yet for Him, no room has been found. By and by it will be at His door the Christless will stand knocking and crying, “Lord, Lord, open to us,” only to hear Him say from within, “I know you not.” Surely, nothing could be more fitting, than at this time, when Christmas carols are sounding from almost every radio and Christmas music is being sung in ten thousand churches all over the land, than to throw wide open the heart’s door and bid Him enter, whose coming in means eternal life and peace. Let it not be said of any of us that we have no room for Jesus.