Saturday, December 18, 2021

No Room for Him

Photo by Sailko 2013


Each time I read the Christmas story, I marvel that the Son of God, the promised Messiah, left His throne in Heaven and came to us in human flesh (John 1:14) to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). Yet the birth of Jesus Christ, Lord of Lords, and King of Kings (Revelation 17:14; 19:16), happened in the most lowly of circumstances. He was not born in the comforts of a royal palace, but in a cold and drafty stable, among the odors of barnyard animals, laid in the scratchy hay of a feeding trough (Luke 2:7).

Why? Because there was no room for Him and His parents in the inn (Luke 2:7). Each time I read that, I cringe to think what it means to have no room for the Saviour. What blessings did the innkeeper miss because he did not joyfully relinquish his best room to the Holy Child? What blessings did God’s chosen people miss because they did not recognize or receive Christ, their Deliverer? (John 1:11-12; 5:43)

What blessings will our nation lose because we no longer have room for Him in our schools, our courtrooms, and our public squares? Even those churches will be held accountable that no longer have room for Him and His Word. Instead, they are devoted to preaching a prosperity or social gospel, to false doctrine (Matthew 7:15; Ephesians 4:14; 2 Peter 2:1), to entertainment, to ostentation, and to social networking, all in the name of building their numbers while falling away from the One Sure Foundation (Luke 6:48-49; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11).

What blessings did I miss in those many long years before I was born again (John 3:3-8) by turning away from my sins and believing in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only Way to Heaven? (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; John 14:6). Before I was saved, my life was strangely empty, yet so filled with pursuing wealth, status, and other worldly treasure that I had no room for Him. What blessings am I missing now when worldly distractions (Hebrews 12:1) take up valuable space in my heart -- space that should be completely dedicated to Him?

So many today are like the fool whose chief concern is that he has no room to store his great accumulation of stuff, and decides to build a bigger storehouse for it all, failing to realize that he can’t take it with him (Luke 12:15-21). When death comes knocking, he who has the most toys does not win, but only he who has Christ living in his heart (2 Corinthians 1:22). All others will slip into eternity only to spend it in hell (Luke 16:22-26), forever separated from the God Who would have saved them had they found room for Him (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13).

But as I reread that there was no room for Jesus in the inn, I realized that was a good thing! With God, there are no accidents and no surprises, for He works all circumstances together for the good of those who love Him, to His glory (Romans 8:28). Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1-6) to fulfill the prophecies that the Christ, the Deliverer and Ruler of Israel, would be born there (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4-6).

The town was packed out because Caesar commanded that all who hailed from there should return to be taxed (Luke 2:1-5). But had God the Father wanted His Son to be born in the best room Bethlehem had to offer, surely that would have happened, despite the overwhelming crowds and the modest means of His earthly parents (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:27; Matthew 19:26).

But how would that have changed the course of history? Had Jesus been born in the privacy of a secluded, comfortable room tucked away in an inn, how would the shepherds have worshipped Him?

In those days, shepherds were on the lowest rung of society – outcasts and vagabonds who traveled about with their sheep, and not above stealing one another’s animals, food or possessions if they could get away with it. That was one reason why they had to keep watch over their flocks by night (Luke 2:8) Like all of us, they were sinners (Romans 3:23), but unlike many, they admitted their sins and longed for the change of heart only a Saviour can bring.

No wonder they were terrified when the angel of the Lord appeared to them (Luke 2:9). Yet the angel came not to condemn them, but to bring them the great news that their Saviour was born! (Luke 2:10-11) How like Jesus, Who came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10), to send His first birth announcement to lowly sinners who knew they needed Him!

Immediately the shepherds made peace with one another and agreed to leave everything behind and to rush off to worship the Son of God (Luke 2:15-16). The angel had told them they would recognize their Lord, for He would be wrapped in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger (Luke 2:12).

True, the angel could have said, “He’s at the inn on Main Street, second floor, first door on the left.” But how would even one shepherd have made it past the innkeeper, let alone the whole throng of shepherds visited by the multitude of the angelic host? Even if they had, how would they all have fit in a small room?

No, it took an open, vast, unguarded space for the King of glory to be adored by all those who wanted to fall down before Him. We tend to think of the stable as a small but cozy wooden enclosure, but it most likely would have been built into a cave on the side of a hill. The mouth of the cave would have been open, allowing the hillside and adjoining fields to be filled with hordes of shepherds worshipping Him.

Not only were the shepherds the first souls to be born again, but they were the first missionaries! After they witnessed the Child with their own eyes and found room for Him in their hearts, they told everyone who would listen what the angel had told them, that Jesus was their Saviour, Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11,17)

As a result, many considered this testimony and no doubt were born again themselves (v. 18). The shepherds' testimony was a confirmation to Mary (v. 19), strengthening her for the difficult journey she faced mothering the Son of God, and their praise and faithfulness brought glory to God (v. 20).

So, had there been room for Jesus and His earthly parents in the inn, many would not have known of Him at that time, because there would have been no room for the shepherds to worship Him!

Later, Jesus continued to have the problem of “no room,” because news of His teachings and miracles caused great throngs of people to crowd around Him (Matthew 5:1; 13:2; 14:14-21; 21:9). Often, there was “no room” for those desperate for His healing word or touch, yet that often emboldened those in need.

The woman with the issue of blood fought her way through the crowds, risking being condemned as unclean, just to touch the hem of His garment (Luke 8:43-48). The friends of the man with palsy cut a hole through the roof of the house where Jesus was, having no doubt that He would help their sick friend (Mark 2:1-12). In every case, Jesus rewarded the faith of those who would not accept “no room” as their final answer.

God is not stingy in doling out blessings. Instead, He loves to shower blessings on His children, answering our prayers exceeding abundantly beyond what we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20; 1 Timothy 1:14). If we seek Him first, He heaps good things on us until we have no room to store them up inside, and they overflow to all those blessed to be in our path (Luke 6:38; 12:29-32).

May His Living Water flow through us like a river nourishing the parched soil around us! May His Light shine through us so that it cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:15), but illuminates the lives of all we meet! May we give Him all the room in our heart, so that we have no room for worldly cares or sorrows, and not enough room to contain all the joy and peace He gives us!

© 2014 Laurie Collett
Reposted from the archives
                                            O Holy Night sung 12/12/21



Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
No room in the inn. Too bad the rich fool did not have enough room for his crops either. Instead of building bigger barns, suppose he prayed,
"Lord, I have a great abundance of crops here, and I'm also aware that there are many poor people around. God, would you give me the know-how on giving freely to those in need?"
Indeed, would he have lived a longer life, even achieve fame as a benefactor and, through faith, receive eternal life?
Yes, as you say, there was much good coming out as a result of our Saviour having been born in an open cave rather than in a hotel. The truth of Romans 8:28.
Also, well done for having the courage to stand up in front and sing solo. I could never do that!
Wishing you and Richard a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. God bless.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
Jesus' life on this earth was exactly as God wanted it to be, so that from the poorest of us to the richest of us could be spoken to through it. Nobody can say 'Oh He had everything He needed, being the Son of God.', because that was not so. That Word can speak to all who come to Him, and money and property mean nothing in the Lord as we all work out our Salvation . He is the One mediator between man and God, and the only giver of eternal life. God bless you and your family as you have a lovely time together at Christmas.

Brenda said...

I did leave a comment on the YouTube video, but it doesn't seem to have come up. I have always liked that carol Laurie, and we have sung it in the last church I went to, but I haven't been to a church while this pandemic is on.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thank you for sharing your insights and encouragement. May we avoid the example of the rich fool and instead be a good steward of all He entrusts to us -- time, talent and treasure. Praise the Lord that He always works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
May you and Alex have a most blessed Christmas and the best of health, prosperity, and all good things in 2022 and until He comes again,

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
I agree, the circumstances of Christ's birth made Him even more accessible to all people. How sad that many reject Him anyway, trusting instead in uncertain riches. May God grant you and your family many blessings during this Christmas season,

Laurie Collett said...

Hi again, Brenda,
Thank you for trying to leave a comment on the video, and I'm sorry that it didn't post. I checked the site, and it doesn't appear to have any settings I can change to enable comments, but I'll try to see if I can fix it somehow and let you know if I do.
God bless you,

Brenda said...

No problems Laurie,
as long as you know that I have watched it and sang along with it. I love that song. God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Brenda! God bless.

Tanza Erlambang said...

everybody is equal in the eyes of God...

excellent reflection.... thank you for sharing...

# Mery Christmas ....

Susan said...

Hi Laurie, so true about the man and his barns, I often think about him because my hubby and I are very blessed and it would be easy to fall into the trap of thinking earthly riches are more important than the gifts of the Spirit. We cannot take it with us. Also thank you for pointing out that the fact that there was no room at the inns was the biggest blessing for those who needed Him the most. Often we focus on what we do not have instead of seeing the blessing in the small things. Happy Christmas to you and you loved ones. I hope 2022 has many insignificantly huge blessings in store ❤️🙏

Laurie Collett said...

Amen, Tanza! Male or female, bond or free, Jew or Greek, we are all one in Christ Jesus. Thank you for your encouraging comment. Merry Christmas!

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Susan,
Like you, my husband and I are very blessed, and must remind ourselves daily that all good and perfect gifts come from above. May we use whatever resources He has entrusted to us for His glory. Thank you for your lovely comment. May you and yours have a blessed Christmas and all good things in 2022 and until He comes again.