Summary: Four main reasons Jesus finds "no room" in many persons’ lives.
Intro>On the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco, the pastor was looking over the nativity scene in the church lobby and noticed that baby Jesus was missing from among its figures. He hurried outside and saw a little boy with a red wagon, and in the red wagon was the figure of the little infant Jesus. So he walked up to the boy and said, “Well, where did you get your passenger, my friend?” The little boy replied, “I got Him at church.” Pastor: “Why did you take Him?” The boy looked up at the pastor and said, “Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to the little Lord Jesus and told Him if He would bring me a red wagon for Christmas I would give Him a ride around the block in it.”
It’s always enlightening to see how children have a different way of seeing things than we do. Especially at Christmas time.
---ILL>Probably the greatest example of that is the story of “The Greatest Christmas Pageant,” Barbara Robinson’s story of a church Christmas pageant that took a definite twist one year when the Herdman children got involved. The Herdman children were not frequent attendees at church. In fact, they had only started coming on Sundays a month before the pageant, when the older Herdman boy overheard some kids at school talking about free food being served at Sunday School. So he brought his brothers and sisters to check it out. While there he heard about the pageant and rehearsals that were beginning. The Herdman kids, let’s just say they were mean. They were tough, street-wise kids who had never heard the Christmas story. But they ended up getting all the main roles in the pageant because the other kids were afraid to even audition if the Herdmans were also trying out for the roles. LeRoy Herdman, deemed a “slow” child was given the part of the innkeeper so he would have to deliver one line: “I’m sorry, we have no room.” He had trouble with it all through the rehearsals, but on the night of the pageant lots of things changed. For LeRoy it ceased being a play...it was real in his mind. The characters playing Joseph and Mary ceased being his brother and sister, and became really Joseph and Mary, a carpenter and his young and very pregnant wife showing up at LeRoy’s “real” inn, needing a room. LeRoy truly felt sorry for them and wanted to help them. So, when it came time to deliver his one line he said it right: “I’m sorry, we have no room.” But then he inserted his own ad-libbed line: “but you can stay in MY room.” -- Well, many in the audience thought LeRoy had ruined the play. He had missed the point. And, besides, now where were the kids dressed up as sheep supposed to go? And the shepherds? And the manger? Others, however, considered this the greatest Christmas pageant ever because LeRoy understood how important Jesus really is.
<>Well, we know the real story tells us there was no room in the inn, and Joseph and Mary ended up in an adjacent stable.
<>But the question for today is this: Why is it that 2,000 years after the innkeeper’s story many still don’t have room for Jesus?