Friday, December 18, 2020



Year 8-Day 353: Today, I am grateful for innkeepers.

I love the Innkeeper in the narrative of the night Jesus was born. We know little about him. We know it was his busy season. We don't know if he had a wife. We know he had compassion on a young couple who were anticipating the birth of a child. 

"Each one of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus." -Neal A. Maxwell

I love to entertain guests. I do not know if "entertaining" is my gift, but I do enjoy extending hospitality. I don't mind drop in visitors. It stems from growing up rural. We knew most of the people in town and our country neighbors... other farm families... who looked out for each other like extended family. Dad often invited agribusiness sales people to join us for a meal. Extending hospitality was not considered a "gift" or "loving our neighbors", it was the right thing to do.

More than 2000 years ago, a soon to be father, desperate for a place to shelter, knocked on the innkeeper's door. The night must have haunted the businessman. Did he always remember the man who arrived with an extremely pregnant wife on his doorstep. She looked exhausted and like she might deliver any minute. I imagine Joseph sounded weary and desperate. On the other hand, maybe he was calm and articulate as he begged for any warm, dry space... out of the night air. Joseph and Mary needed shelter, not a honeymoon suite. 

Joseph is one of my favorites. His "supporting role" is often overlooked. His faithful attention to Mary and the Christ child melts my heart. He watched the baby grow within her. He hurt to see her ache with a full womb as they made the trip to Bethlehem. There was no Uber. No horse drawn sleigh. No Holiday Inn with a guaranteed reservation.

The innkeeper said "Yes.". Was he quick in his response or did Joseph have to beg? Did he point to Mary and look at the innkeeper with desperate eyes? Did the innkeeper have a wife who would not let him turn Mary and Joseph away. We simply do not know. We do know God works in and through our circumstance.  

"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 2:7

No room in the inn. The situation seemed grim, yet God worked in and through the circumstances fulfilling many prophecies along the way. The innkeeper was in a supporting role, but every choice he made would become part of the story that continues to be retold. Hope still waits in a manger. 

Today, I am grateful for innkeepers.

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