"No Room at the Inn"
I can only imagine what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph, as they made their long sojourn from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Mary was not just pregnant; she was very pregnant. Traveling by donkey must have been agony. And as a descendant of the house and lineage of King David, it must have been humiliating for Joseph to be rebuffed at every door. Did this humiliation stir prior doubts about Mary’s “miraculous” conception. Wouldn’t the Most High God have opened a few doors to make sure his son was not born and lodged with barnyard animals?
At least the innkeeper opened his barn and kept the holy couple out of the cold. This simple act of kindness felt like the world to them. With wars raging in Ukraine and the Middle East, and with human deprivation all around us, what can we do? Is there a way that we can say with the innkeeper: there may be no room at the inn, but there are things we can do to lessen your suffering and offer a place to stay warm and out of the elements? Happily, the answer is yes. This Christmas, rather than buying gifts many of our loved ones don’t need, and may not even want, wouldn’t it be more meaningful to contribute to charity in their names? There are countless charities, like Church World Service, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and Heifer International that are making a difference in our world. We can even ask our loved ones what charities they support and make donations in their name.
As with Mary and Joseph, there may be “no room at the inn” for millions around the world, but our gifts can make help ensure that the “no vacancy” sign doesn’t have the final word.
Yours on the journey,
Pastor B. J.