Summary: 1st sermon from my Christmas series where i look at Christmas from point of view of Biblical characters, an attempt at a topical sermon.
Finding Room for the Savior
Christmas through their Eyes
Ask: Has anyone ever been to a children’s Christmas program?
Back when I was in elementary school it was still OK for schools to have Christmas programs and actually call them Christmas programs.
On top of that, we also would act out the Christmas story…kids in kindergarten lined up in back dressed like angels with their golden halos and little boys pulling out the bath robes to dress like shepherds.
The best part of the show would always be when Mary and Joseph would show up at the inn looking for a place to stay.
• They would walk up as the narrator would say, “Joseph took his wife, who was with child into Bethlehem in hopes that they would find a place to stay.”
• And you know the scene they would knock on the door, Mary wrapped in a blue sheet, Joseph wearing dad’s bathrobe and a bath towel on his head, only to be greeted by the inn keeper.
• And it was here the REAL acting took place, because some kid, also wearing dad’s bathrobe, would wait for the narrator to say, “But there was no room in the inn” and he would angrily say, “We don’t have room here, but we have a barn behind us…you can stay there! Now go!”
• Yeah…good memories.
Technically though, it probably didn’t happen that way.
In fact, let’s read that passage together this morning.
Read Luke 2:1-7 and pray.
My NT professor from Seminary, Dr. James Blevins would remind us that the actual Greek rendering of that verse from Luke’s gospel is better translated as “There was not an appropriate place in the inn” rather than “there was no room in the inn.”
Consider the setting, a busy census is taking place, and people have come from far and wide to Bethlehem to be counted by the Roman governor.
These inns, are not inns as we would think of today…like the Holiday Inn, a place to find a comfortable bed, warm shower and a quick breakfast in the morning.
The inns of the first century were more like a bar/eatery where rooms were available for those who may not be able to make home when it the night was over.
So when Joseph comes to the door with his pregnant wife during this incredibly busy night…the inn keeper probably didn’t want to deal with this too, but may have sincerely wanted to help out.
When he referred them to the stable outback, it was probably his way of saying, “Those animals back there are probably a lot safer to be around than the animals in here.”
We are beginning a new series this morning that I’m calling, “Christmas through their Eyes.”
During the next 3 weeks I hope we can get a different view of the Christmas narratives by putting ourselves in the shoes of those who experienced it first hand in Scripture.
Today we are going to begin by considering the inn keeper and then we’ll follow this up by exploring Christmas through the eyes of Joseph and Simeon.
It will require a little imagination on our part, and we may be making some speculation, but I think in the end it will allow us to see the season we are celebrating in a different light.
So, let’s begin with the inn keeper…the man who said there was no room in the inn.
Can you imagine telling the Savior that there is no room for Him?
Hard to imagine isn’t it…or is it?
Sadly, especially at this time of year, it is way too easy for us in many ways to not find room for the Savior in our hearts and our lives.
This morning I want us to consider 4 possible reasons why this inn keeper could not find room for the Savior…and why we may be in the same predicament.
First of all…
It was a busy time for this inn keeper.
A census had been declared by Ceasar for all of the kingdom, and each head of household was to take his family to his home town to be counted.
Bethlehem was a suburb of Jerusalem, a small town…but the home of King David, and as a result was the home to many a sojourner who had moved on during the years.
A flood of people were now in this town for possibly the biggest event since the time of King David, and as a result the hotels and inns of the city were packed.
This inn keeper who may have seen only a hand full of guests in the months and years leading up to this was now up to his eye balls in business and busy-ness.
This should have and could have been a dream come true, but I have a feeling that he was way over his head on this occasion when this carpenter from Nazareth and his very pregnant wife showed up at his door.