There are six brothers and sisters in our family and after college we all married and moved to other cities. It meant that Christmas was even more special because we each tried to make it home. We descended on our mom’s little house like a swarm of locusts, devouring every open space with bedding, suitcases, children, and gifts. We also devoured a whole lot of food.
While the space was indeed limited, we tried to make it work, but if you had to get up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom, you had to tread carefully not to step on a face or leg of a “camper” nestled outside your bedroom door. That is if you were one of the first to arrive and actually got a bedroom. Sometimes it meant a couch or even sheets and blankets under the dining room table. Beds were created around the Christmas tree for the grandkids and they remember the dormitory atmosphere of our mother’s living room. It’s the stuff of legends. You know the phrase, “You think this is crowded, why, when we went to Grandma’s it was so crowded that we had to sleep...” Yep, legendary.
As I think back, it felt a little like the very first Christmas with no room in the inn.
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.” Luke 2:6-7
Let’s imagine the weariness that Mary must have felt. She was nine months along in the pregnancy. Her aching back and swollen feet may have screamed out for somewhere to lie down. Finally, they arrived in the town. Joseph may have knocked on several doors to be greeted with, “No room.” Or perhaps there was only one inn, and when they arrived hoping for accommodations, they discovered that their only hope of a bed was gone.
No room. No room for the King of Kings. No room for the Savior of the world. A stable, a feeding trough, a bit of straw, those were the first accommodations for the Creator of the universe.
But Jesus did not come to reside in palaces. He did not enter earth’s sin sick world to have the newest, the brightest, or the best. He came to reside in our hearts.
So now we are faced with the question, “Is there room there?”