We've released a new version of SermonCentral! Read the release notes here.
Text Illustrations
One of my favorite Christmas stories, is about a 7th-grade boy by the name of William Spurling. William Spurling was big for his age, & a little slow mentally. But he was a good boy & all the kids liked him. In fact, they wanted him for a friend because he was big enough to take their part if they needed him. When it came time for the Christmas program to be presented, William Spurling wanted to be a shepherd, but the teacher decided that he would make a better inn keeper than a shepherd since he was so big. So she gave him the task of being the rough, mean inn keeper. When Mary & Joseph came to the inn & knocked on the door, William Spurling opened it. And when they asked for a place to stay, he said harshly, "There is no place for you to stay. There is no room in the inn." Joseph said, "But my wife is tired & weary & she is expecting a baby. Isn’t there just a small room somewhere where we could rest?" Once again, William Spurling said, with roughness in his voice, "You’ll have to find a place somewhere else. There is no room in the inn." Once more Joseph pleaded just for some place for them to stay the night. Then there was a long pause, one of those pauses that is as embarrassing for the audience as it is for the cast. William Spurling had forgotten his next line. Back behind the props you could hear the prompter saying, "No, be gone! No, be gone!" That was his next speech. Finally, William Spurling said, with softness in his voice, "No, be gone." Mary & Joseph sadly turned to leave. But as they did, suddenly William Spurling regained his voice & said, "Wait a minute! You can stay in my room, & I’ll sleep in the shed." In the stunned silence that followed, the teacher thought the play was ruined, until she thought again of the words of a 7th-grade boy, who may have communicated the real truth of Christmas better than any. "No, you can stay in my room, & I’ll sleep in the shed."

Related Text Illustrations

Related Sermons