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Wally was a 7th grade student who was bigger than any of the other students in his Sunday school class. His mother had been an alcoholic when he was born, and as a result, Wally just did not have all the mental capabilities that the rest of his classmates had. But somehow he managed to get by.

Christmas time came and his class decided to put on a Christmas pageant. Since he was the biggest, Wally was selected to be the innkeeper. After all, the innkeeper is kind of a villain in the Christmas drama. So they coached Wally to be just as mean as he possibly could be.

Well, the night came for the Christmas play. And in it, Mary and Joseph came to Bethlehem, went to the Inn and knocked on its door. Wally opened the door and said, "What do you want?" just as mean and gruff as he could possibly be. Joseph said, "We need a room. We need a place to stay tonight." "Well, you’ll have to stay someplace else," said Wally, "because there’s no room here." Joseph said, "But my wife’s expecting a baby any time now. Isn’t there someplace where we can stay, where we are protected from the cold and where she can deliver her child?"

Then silence. Wally had forgotten his lines. From behind the curtains you could hear someone saying, "Be gone. Be gone." Finally, Wally managed to say, "Be gone." Mary and Joseph sadly turned to leave. But just as they did, Wally said, "Wait a minute. Wait a minute. You can have my room."

Maybe Wally, better than anybody else communicated the real spirit of Christmas. "You can have my room." I look around the stable and ask myself, would I give Jesus my room? Maybe the better question is, will I give Jesus my life? Jesus did not come to live in a stable; he did come to live in me. It may be Christmas time. There may be a nativity scene on your coffee table. But the question is where is Jesus? Don’t leaven him in a manger.

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