Mary and Joseph went to the Inn and were told there was no room. Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? You just didn’t fit in this group or that group. Maybe you made the list, but maybe you didn’t or maybe, you made a list you didn’t want like the FBI’s most wanted list. The gospel from last night read, “In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirin’i-us was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city”, Luke 2:1-3. A first list of its’ kind. I imagine there may have been some benefits to that list, and then again may not. I do not know for sure.
There are times in our lives when we feel there is no room and no list fits. You can ride solo in this life making your own list or you can stand firm on a solid foundation in a relationship with Christ. A promise where Jesus tells His disciples their names are written in heaven if you follow Him. Luke 10:17-20
I don’t know about you, but that’s one list I want to be on. I’ll skip the deans list or having my name on a plague for being a gold giving benefactor to be on heaven’s list, it’s eternal.
When you stop striving for the list and rooms of the world you will find you don’t fit in the culture that surrounds you. For the culture says, “live here, own this, do these things and you will be happy, be at peace, and fulfilled.
It’s all lies. It’s the ultimate bait and switch. Why we see it when we are buying a new car or when the vacuum cleaner sales man shows up at the front door, but not in our own life is frightening in all reality. We are significantly blind to large potions of our own lives. It’s in this darkness the light comes when you go searching.
Back to the Inn and no room. Have you ever wanted a new Inn? Have you ever wondered how you got the Inn your in? Oh sure, you know, but here is such a different version than the game show selection life offers. Long ago, you took the bait and now know it came with a cost. So you cry out for a new Inn. You know in your entire being with certainty that certain mistakes have cost you dearly. There was a cost and there’s no going back. What’s done is done. It can’t be undone. It can be healed, but it will always be in the past and there will be no room in the new Inn for any old stuff, lies, or beliefs.
So you get low. Admit your weaknesses. Let the Lord once again have His way. After all as the song goes; “He’s the way maker, promise keeper, miracle worker. That is who you are.” So you live a life living that motto and not the so called “American Dream” that never delivers.
Scripture doesn’t tell us much, but I wonder if Mary and Joseph knocked on any other doors before the Inn. We often spend so much time knocking we miss the open door because it’s not what we imagined. Yet, it’s in that unimaginable place the Savior was born. It was a stable, a modern day barn, some biblical scholars call it a cave. We often see cribs and cute little wooden boxes, but it was more likely to have been a trough. Like one animals drink from! Let’s be real, it probably stunk. Who knows when it was last cleaned.
The place was probably loud with animals, as the scripture doesn’t tell us how many were present. It was dark, I mean in those days you didn’t call for an electrician when the lights went out. The savior of the world arrives in the dark of night. If you really place your self in the scene the thought of the whole thing makes your skin itch. Mary, laying in straw delivering a baby, and yet there was no shame because she’s full of grace.
Let’s be real, child birth is messy. Joseph was a carpenter, no obstetrician. Who cut the umbilical cord and the bigger question is what did they use? This was not a five star hotel, heck it wasn’t even motel 6, it was a small coral of sorts where animals were kept. You ever wonder, who cleaned up baby Jesus? There was no nurse in the room. Was it Joseph or a Ewe (female sheep) doing the job, lick by lick. Now that’s a thought I bet hasn’t crossed your mind. The Savior of the world being cleaned from the natural mess of child birth by a sheep! Maybe, that’s one reason why scripture says “my sheep know my voice.” That Ewe was pretty intimate with the cry of baby Jesus.
That’s the exactly the kind of intimacy the Lord desires to have with each of us. He hears our cries, I’m certain of it. In fact, I often think he’s probably scratching His head thinking, what took you so long. It’s in the cry of surrender you let go of your Inn and crawl into the crib of humility and vulnerability. You can throw a tantrum, but God is a big God he can handle all things. You allow your mess to be shown to Him; the shame, the fear, the nakedness of your sinfulness. You take off your masks and clothes to be cleaned up by His love lick by lick so that your heart is pure. I wonder if they wrapped him in swaddling clothes, which is basically rags so that He can take our rags and make them clean again.
This Christmas my prayer is Lord let me be born once again anew. Another new creation in Christ. My desire is your desire, to walk in abundance and freedom. When I fail I will crawl back into the crib again. It’s in your humility and vulnerability that I will find safety, love, and mercy. Only with your grace Lord will I find myself standing on a firm and solid foundation the world can not give even at Christmas time running through the mall in search of the perfect gift.
Jesus, you are the perfect gift!
Merry Christmas to all! Our little babe is a mighty and victorious Savior. If more freedom was on the line. In a brave surrender would you crawl into the crib with Jesus and allow yourself to be completely vulnerable? Are you willing to trade in your old rags for something new?