In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. Luke 2:1-7 (ESV)
Several years ago, my wife and I attended our college homecoming. After spending some time catching up with friends, we began our trek home. Our plan was to go about half way and spend the night. We hadn’t made reservations anywhere because we figured it would be easy to find a room somewhere. We were wrong. We never stopped to consider the possibility that something else might be going on in the world. The night wore on and we exited off the interstate to find a room for the night. No vacancies. No big deal. We’d hit the next exit and find one there. Nope. No rooms there either. No sweat. We’d travel a little farther north and catch a room there. No dice. Zilch. Nada. It’s like all of North America had descended upon the I-71 corridor of the state of Kentucky. At every exit, we began to notice the same five or six cars were getting off in the interstate. They were doing the same thing we were. None of us could find rooms. Five hours later, we managed to find a room for the night. Those were some of the longest five hours of my life.
Two thousand years before our odyssey, a couple by the name of Mary and Joseph had traveled to their hometown to register in the census. They looked everywhere for a room for the night. Like us, they discovered that the demand overwhelmed the supply in the little hamlet of Bethlehem. There were no rooms to be found. All they could muster was a corner of the stable behind the inn. So, Joseph and his very, very pregnant wife Mary settled down for the night in a cave that probably gave shelter to the animals.
And then, the time came. The calm of the night was shattered by the cries of a newborn baby. Mary’s child was born. His name was Jesus. She wrapped him in cloths and laid Him in a feeding trough. Probably not the image she had for her baby’s first night. This is especially shocking considering just who this baby was. He was the long-awaited Messiah. This wasn’t just some ordinary birth. The savior of the world had come. And, He spent His first night on this earth in a stall. All because there was no room for Him anywhere.
Sometimes in the busyness of our lives, we fail to make room for Jesus. He is squeezed out by all the demands and priorities that we put ahead of Him. We mean well. We wish things were different. We promise that someday, they will be. Yet somehow, they never are. There’s just no room for Jesus in our busy, busy lives.
Let’s not be guilty of shoving Jesus out of our lives. Let’s not shove Him out back with the animals. Let’s make room for Him. Let’s make some adjustments in our priorities and scheduling. Let’s rearrange some things in order to accommodate the King.
Further Reading: Romans 8