Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Stop at Bethlehem - Christmas Blog Post Swap #2

It's time for post two of the Christmas blog post swap!  (uh-oh, you know that means Christmas is just 2 weeks away!)

I am thrilled to finally have my sister posting over here!  Rachel is a senior in high school, an intern at on our church's media team, a blogger, a sister, a friend, a pianist, an artist, and most importantly a follower of Jesus!  She blogs at Free and Holy.  Without further adieu, my sis's amazing post -  

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 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." Matthew 2:5-7

One line, that's all that it get. One phrase -- "there was no place for them in the inn." Do you ever wonder about the innkeeper that night? The man, who was lucky enough to be making a fortune during the Roman census. Everyone was traveling to their birth town, and many needed a place to stay. The innkeeper's business was booming. That evening inside the inn was bright with a cheery hearth and friendly laughter. Childhood friends reunite around the table. For a moment, the people forget about their troubles, the worries that follow them on their journey. And the innkeeper's life, and pocket, is full.

But suddenly, he hears pounding at the door. It's clipped, urgent. Of course, who isn't trying to hurry out of the cold darkness? The innkeeper sends a servant to the door to tell the travelers the bad news. The inn is full. There is no more room. The innkeeper turns back to his guests, but it is only a moment before the servant pulls him away. He beckons him towards the door. Sighing, the innkeeper walks over.

Before he can turn the travelers away, he catches a glimpse of a woman, fear in her eyes, shivering in the cold. She's pregnant. The man at the door asks for a room. He looks scared. Desperate. But there's no room. There's nowhere for them to go.

The woman looks even more tired, more frightened. And the husband begs for a room. They're alone in a town far away from home. And the innkeeper feels bad. Sighing, he looks around. There really is no room. The rooms are packed beyond capacity. In fact, the animals in the stable have more room to sleep than the people... His mind doubles back. He's embarrassed to even mention it. Sleep in a stable? It would be shameful to offer that sort of accommodations. Yet, they won't be able to find a room in Bethlehem. Every bed and floor in the town is full. 
Reluctantly, the innkeeper offers his stable to the anxious couple. They quickly accept. And the innkeeper sheepishly leads them to it.

Everyone makes the innkeeper out as a sort of bad guy, you know? He's the guy who refused a room to the King of Kings. He's the man who didn't have room in his life for the Messiah. But, the truth is, this innkeeper did the best he could, with what he knew. All he knew was that a young couple needed a room. He didn't have one, but he made a way with what he had.

And what if he'd known that God Himself was about to be born in that stable? He would have cleared out that inn and served Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus hand and foot. But he didn't know. So he gave them a stable.

I know. I know Who was born that night. I know how He went and lived, and then died, and rose for me. The question is, do I turn my heart over to Him completely, or am I willing to only give Him a stable -- a tiny portion of my heart? The innkeeper didn't know. But I do. What will I do with what I know? 

I am guesting posting over at Free and Holy today.  Hop over and check it out, and then spend some time reading Rachel's posts too!


  1. Rachel, I really enjoyed your post again! Thanks for your reflections over aspects of the birth of our Savior. And I love how you pointed out that the innkeeper did give what he could…and he had no way of knowing that it was our Christ who was born. Thanks again, Lizzie, for organizing this series!

  2. Oh Rachel, this is so beautiful. I've never thought of this this way, Thanks so much for sharing,
    And, Lizzie, I'm seconding Hannah! Thanks so much for organizing this series. It's so wonderful. (Btw, it was really interesting reading your post on Christmas traditions in Haiti. I wonder what they are in my girls' countries...)