Sunday, December 5, 2010

Why can't we be more like the Innkeeper?

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." ~ Luke 2:7

You know, it is barely half a verse, and yet it may be the most memorable part of the Christmas story, "and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."  It also has probably one of the worst misinterpretations of a character in any story.  

When we read the story of Jesus' birth in Church, or on Christmas morning, this anonymous innkeeper has a label of being completely heartless and mean planted on his forehead.  I mean, who else would leave such a holy family out in the cold???  We read that there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the Inn, but if we think about it, is a crowded inn really any place for a woman about to give birth to a baby?  And it certainly wouldn't be right for the innkeeper to throw someone else out to accommodate for the less fortunate family.

Another thing, when we think of where the innkeeper finally found a place to stay, we think that it was out in some stable where a bunch of nasty animal stalls and whatnot were located.  But GUESS WHAT????  This was probably not true at all.  It is just another misconception.  The word "inn" is actually translated into Greek as "καταλυμα (kataluma)" which actually means "upper room" or as we would know, "guest room".  As common sense would tell us, this place would be where the guests all stayed.  This leaves us to assume that instead of getting stuck in a barn out in the cold, Mary and Joseph actually just spent the night in the "lower room".  Now you are wondering, well.... "Where does the animals and the manger come in?"  Well, chill! I'm about to tell you!  Back in that day and age, it was quite common for the family animals to be brought into the lower room for the night, hence, a manger coming in handy.  This would be ok, since the guests all stayed upstairs.  

So... just sayin', maybe next time we read the Christmas story, instead of writing the innkeeper off as inconsiderate, we should commend him for using his resources to help the needy family in such a difficult and awkward situation. 

Ok, my main point is, why do we so often think that things must be perfect to serve people or to provide for them places to stay?  Like, taking care of the homeless, or someone who just needs a place to crash? (Holy or not)  I mean, What Would Jesus Do??  Do you really think that if your house was Jesus' house, that if someone had no where to go for Christmas, that He would worry about how messy the bathroom was, or that the guest bedroom didn't have a set of drawers in it, or whatever other excuses we might make?  Heck to the no.  He would welcome them in with open arms because it would be better than what they would have had otherwise.  Jesus was NOT picky about where He was born.  So why do we think that those who are in need care about stupid things like that?  If we could make their lives just a little bit easier by providing simple things like a place to stay for awhile during the Holidays, imagine how much better you are making their lives.  What if they had no where else to go, and YOU were the one who stepped up and took them in.  You just saved them from being alone on the one holiday when NO ONE should be alone.  Christmas is the celebration of the birth of OUR SAVIOUR!! How do you think He would feel if He knew that we neglected to take care of one of His children because we thought our guest room wasn't good enough or our house was too messy or our food not good enough?  Not a very good birthday present for Him, I'd say....  

Well, that's about all I have to say. I hope whoever reads this takes it to heart because there are way too many people out there who need us.  Who are we to ignore their cries?

This is where I got some of my information! Read it, it has some interesting stuff! :)

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