And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
Every year, as we get near Christmas, I remember a trip that my family and I took out west a number of years ago.
We had traveled all day; everyone was tired and hungry; the children had spent the last 50 miles arguing about who was going to scrape up the gum that had fallen onto the carpet in the back seat of the van. That was their problem.
My problem was finding a motel that wasn't flashing an orange neon no vacancy sign. Just when my temper was about to pop, I remembered another couple, thousands of years before, who also made a trip and tried to get lodgings at an inn that had hung out its no vacancy sign.
How much harder it must have been for Mary and Joseph when they arrived at their Bethlehem destination. Mary's advanced condition demanded she rest. They needed to find shelter immediately. Yet, when they inquired, they found “there was no room for them in the inn.” So it came to pass, the Son of God was born in a stable.
Of course that’s not the end of Jesus’ story. The Bible tells how the Babe of Bethlehem grew up and became the Christ of the cross and the Savior of the empty tomb. And even this is not the end of His story.
You see, this Christmas, Jesus still will be looking for places –hearts, which have room for Him. It is my prayer He has found such a place in your life. And, if He hasn’t, I shall be asking the Holy Spirit to motivate you to turn off the no vacancy sign.
This Christmas, by God’s grace, may Jesus find there is room in every inn.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Merciful Lord, open our hearts to know You more fully, more completely, than we ever thought possible. And as Your children, remind us that we are Your servants, sent forth to be a light to the world. We ask this in Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries