Summary: A poem, ’The Ode to the Innkeeper’ tells of being too busy to recognise Jesus and so leaving him out of our life and a nativity story which points us to receiving Him.


The innkeeper at Bethlehem was one of the minor characters of the Nativity. He couldn’t find room for Mary as an expectant mother. Why? This poem tells he story. It’s called: THE ODE TO THE INNKEEPER

The Innkeeper stands, he is guarding the door

He’s got all he wants, he has room for no more

‘O yes, there’s a stable, not fit for a king

Have that if you like, it don’t mean a thing.

But don’t come inside, I’ve so much to do

I haven’t the time to listen to you.’

A night to remember, the skies were aglow,

The shepherds excited in stable below,

But the Innkeeper lay in his comfortable bed

And turned to his wife and happily said,

‘It’s been a good day dear, the mortgage is paid,

It seems that we our fortune have made.’

Down in the stable, mystery dawns,

The young baby stretches and placidly yawns;

B.C. becomes A.D. the calendar’s changed.

History’s structure is now re-arranged,

But the Innkeeper sleeps ‘til morning light

He has no idea what happened that night.

Wise men arrive at the pull of a star,

Bow in deep homage they’ve come from afar;

Retrace their steps having heard from above

Rejoice in the blessing of God and his love

But the Innkeeper’s busy checking his wealth

Nothing to give, only thinks of himself.

The story of Advent has stayed through the years

The birth of a Saviour has scattered our fears’

Thousands of folk have now come to the light,

Because of the events of that glorious night;

But the Innkeeper continues as he did before

Not knowing that God has knocked on his door.

Innkeepers today may be in this place,

Accepting the Lord might make you lose face’

You think you’re O.K., it’s nothing to you,

Surely God has something better to do?

He knocks on the door – your excuse is so thin,

Can you still say, ‘No Room at the Inn?’

That’s something we must think about – have we any room for Jesus?

Here’s another story which points to the right way of inviting Jesus into our lives:

A group of four-year-olds were presenting a Christmas Pageant. Everything moved along smoothly until the children playing Mary and Joseph arrived at the inn in Bethlehem.

‘Do you have any room for us?’ asked young Joseph.

‘No, the inn is full,’ replied the innkeeper.

‘But it’s so cold outside, and my wife is going to have a baby,’ pleaded Joseph. ‘Don’t you have any place for us?’

To the surprise of the director of the play and the audience, instead of showing the couple to the stable, the four-year-old innkeeper replied compassionately, ‘I’m not supposed to say this, but you come right on in.’

Well, Christmas is over for another twelve months, but for the New Year, let’s surprise ourselves and our families, friends and everybody we meet by showing compassion and true friendship. It’s what the Bible calls ‘Love’.

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