Have you noticed that it is possible to be very close to something but still miss it? People who wear glasses sometimes look for them whilst the glasses are perched on top of their head. Actors in pantomimes deliberately wind up the audience with the “he’s behind you!” routine, when everyone except the person closest to the villain can see him. Millions of people this December will come very close to Christmas and miss it. Christmas is a commercial festival – nothing wrong with that; we need to buy and sell. Christmas is a social festival when we meet with friends and family. Christmas is a holiday… hopefully!
This innkeeper at Bethlehem was not a bad man. He even tried to
find a place for the late arriving couple with the donkey. Business was
booming because of the census and he was extremely busy. Nothing
wrong with that either. He was going about his legitimate business.
But he missed a unique, momentous world-changing event which was
happening right on his doorstep. His business occupied his mind and
he lost a chance to participate in the birth of an era.
There is nothing wrong with being busy. There is no need to feel
guilty about doing well or managing a thriving concern. The mistake
is letting the busy-ness blind us to the momentous significance of
Christmas. The innkeeper had no idea; we have no excuse, so let’s
not miss it this time around. Let’s not find room, but make room for
the couple, the donkey and most importantly, the baby. These
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 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.
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