No Room in the Inn (Advent) - Sunday, December 24

advent devotions 2017 lutheran indian ministries

No Room in the Inn - Sunday, December 24

"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 (ESV)

This is the account of Jesus' birth according to Luke. It is safe to assume that the innkeeper would have made other arrangements for the young family if he had known who they were; if he had known that Mary was carrying the long-awaited Messiah, whom all of Judea was desperate for.

God doesn't always show up the way we expect Him. Sometimes, He comes to us like a troubled teenager running from the very family that is supposed to protect him. Sometimes, He comes to us as a broken man who can no longer parent because of his addictions. Other times, we might see Him in the face of a mother reduced to begging for enough food to feed her children.

Many times, God comes to us so well disguised we do not see His image in the sea of humanity that surrounds us. In so many ways, we are like the innkeeper. He was busy with his job, earning a livelihood. He was stressed by the hordes of people who flooded into his town. His mind was on all of the things he needed to accomplish that evening, and he missed God knocking at his door.

The Son of God came to us hidden in His humanity. In Matthew 25:44, Jesus said, “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’”

Jesus was born into this world to redeem that broken image of God in each of us. When we look into the eyes of that teenager or that father or that mother, can you see it? Can you see the need only Jesus can take care of? Can we be a safe place for the homeless, tired, hurting, and hungry? When Jesus comes to us in our brother and sister’s pain, will He find “room in the inn"?

Heavenly Father, forgive us for being so preoccupied with earthly things that we miss the chance to show the love of Jesus to others. Thank You for sending Your Son who has loved us with an everlasting love and who invites us in and takes care of our every need. In His name, we pray. Amen.

Rosemary Sternbeck
Fairbanks, Alaska