And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
She gave birth to her first child, a son.
She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger,
because there was no lodging available for them.
Luke 2:6,7 NLT
On Sunday, our Minister Emeritus, the Rev. Rosemary Doran preached. She pointed out that in the gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth there is no Inn Keeper. Often in a Sunday School Pageant the Inn Keeper tells Mary and Joseph that there is no room in the inn for them. And offers them the use of the stable instead. But that is the work of imagination. For all the text says is that they laid him in the manger, because there was no lodging available to them.
Whether or not they actually approached the Inn Keeper, I am always fascinated by the idea that when Jesus was born, there was no room in our world for him. Even from his first breath, he found himself dwelling among the outcast.
One of my favorite bands, who I have mentioned often during this advent blog project puts it this way:
Mary shivers in the cold
Trying to keep the Savior warm
Born among the animals wrapped in dirty rags
Because there was no room for Him in the world He came to save
(Casting Crowns, While You Were Sleeping)
The birth of Christ is beautiful, a time of celebration, but it is also tinged with sadness. Because there was no room for him in the world he came to save. Because from the beginning, we found it easy to reject him. Because from the beginning, his love was greater than ours.
I have always been drawn to sad songs, sad poems and sad stories. Maybe this is why I am so drawn to this part of the story. Or maybe it’s because I’m touched that God knows what it is to be slightly left out. To be celebrating while touched with sadness. God understands that part of me, and that makes any sadness I have, easier to bear.
And that is why I am consistently drawn back to God. That is why I know that the journey of faith is one that will last throughout this life and beyond.