What kind of a guy makes a pregnant woman sleep in his barn? What kind of a guy was that who could not give up a little comfort for a family obviously in desperate need of shelter for a few nights? He was the poor old innkeeper forever known as the guy who made Mary, the mother of Jesus, give birth in a barn. Don't you just want to go back in time and shake that guy into the reality of what he was doing?
Scripture tells us, "She (Mary) wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn," Luke 2:7.
I'm sure it didn't take our innkeeper very long to realize that his gesture of "shelter" was probably one he would rethink if given another chance.
Picture this guy as Mary is in labor. Note to self . "Next time give pregnant lady a room . any room . my room!" When baby Jesus finally arrives he finds himself both relieved and sad.
"The kid is healthy and the parents will be on their way soon," he thinks to himself.
Then there was the visitation committee from the shepherds. Our innkeeper listens to their story about angels appearing to them in the fields.
"Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord," Luke 2:11. His mouth drops wide open as he begins to understand. "You have got to be kidding me," he mumbles out loud.
His hands cover his face as he realizes how huge his lack hospitality and understanding has been.
Think about how he must have felt years later. "Hey, have you heard of this Jesus everyone is talking about?"
Again, the hands go over his face and he mutters, "Yah, he was born in my barn." Pretty pathetic was this villain of Christmas. You could say that he missed the chance of a lifetime. The truth is he missed the chance of a hundred lifetimes.
It's pretty easy to Monday morning quarterback the decisions of others, especially in scripture. It somehow makes us feel like we are not all that bad. "Well, if you compare me to that guy, I'm a saint," or "there is no way I would have done that!" Does that sound familiar? Little phrases we use to justify ourselves.
I think that scripture is pretty clear that it is not about accomplishments.
It is about opportunity. The poor old innkeeper certainly missed an opportunity, but I wonder if we are much different. Would we recognize what God was doing if a divine opportunity showed up on our doorstep? Would we appease our conscience by opening up our garage instead of our house?
It is the most wonderful time of the year. God has given you his most precious gift. You now have the opportunity to connect with God every day in a personal way. What an opportunity.
Don't let it slip away. Open the door of your heart this season to a relationship with him that will impacts your world forever. The innkeeper missed an opportunity to celebrate the arrival of the king. Let's not miss our opportunity to enjoy a season dedicated to him.
Gordon Mularski is senior pastor of Treasure Coast Community Church in Jensen Beach.
Treasure Coast Community Church meets in the Jensen Beach High School Performing Arts Center, located at 2875 N.W. Goldenrod Road, on Sundays at 10 a.m.
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Or call (772) 334-3999.