The familiar line of the Christmas story goes....And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)
When Joseph and Mary went knocking on the doors of the homes and inns of Bethlehem, they were shut out, one at a time. If these residents and inn owners had only known just Who it was they were pushing away, would things have played out differently?
For example, if Joseph had said about the soon-to-be-babe, "It's Jesus, Prince of Peace," would they have let the young desperate couple inside? And then, if they had entered for the night, I wonder if all guests inside the inn would have been invaded with a calm serenity like they had never experinced before.
Or, if Joseph had exclaimed about the coming-infant, "It's Jesus, Savior of the World," would some home-owner have quickly prepared Joseph and Mary a room? And then, would each individual there in that house have felt a lift in their spirit from their personal burdens, as well as a holy protection from evil and darkness?
Or, what if Mary desperately shouted in the streets about her expected child, "It's Jesus Immanuel--'God with us'!"? Would each one of the Bethlehem inn-keepers have turned their places inside-out in order to provide a place for God's presence to be within his establishment? If so, on that glorious night, would all the inhabitants have experienced life that is truly life? (I Timothy 6:19).
Sadly, these home-owners and inn-keepers were unaware of just Who was knocking at their door. But the good news is, we do know! The vital question is this: what are we going to do with Jesus, because He isknocking, and He doeswant in.
Let's not shut Him out any longer; let's allow Him into our individual hearts. And then, let's together, one by one, let Him back into our homes... let Him back into our schools... let Him back into our country. He is the Light of the World....and in Him there is no darkness at all. (I John 1:5). Why do we keep choosing darkness?
Hear His words, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Rev. 3:20)
"Jesus Prince of Peace, Savior and Protector, Light of the World... God with us. Can I come in?"
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and meditate in his temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me. He will lift me on a rock. (Psalm 27:4-5)
Dear Lord, as our hearts dwell in your presence, open our eyes to your beauty, make us aware of your mercy, and cause us to rejoice in your protective care. Amen