“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Today’s verse passage reminds us that the Lord’s earthly parents, while not being completely destitute, were by no means affluent. Apparently they had no surviving family in Bethlehem and so had to seek haven at a local inn. Because of the Caesar’s decree the town was no doubt bustling with people and no place at the inn was available to the young family. Luke says the Lord was laid in a “manger.” Whatever the precise meaning of the term, we know that the Christ child was born in a stable designed to corral animals; the manger was in all likelihood a trough in which the animal feed or fodder was placed. How wonderful it is—and ironic—that the “Bread of Life” (John 6:35) should be placed in a feed trough at the beginning of his sojourn here! The detail about there being no room for the Lord and His family is both symbolic and instructive. It reminds us that people fill their lives with all manner of care, concern, and activity. In the western world, we fill our days with jobs that typically occupy 40-60 hours per week. Added to that there are the daily, mundane affairs of this life like shopping, house cleaning, and maintenance and repairs to our various pieces of property. To this we may add all kinds of other commitments, interests, hobbies, and the eventual need to sleep! For many, God is just another thing to be added to an already jam-packed schedule. For some, Christianity is reducible to a list of activities like reading the Bible, praying, or going to church. Not only is this conception of Christianity totally wrong, those who hold to it, more often than not, will erase “Christian” things from their lives the moment a scheduling conflict arises. As with the Lord and His family in Bethlehem, Christ and His known will are relegated to a place outside of regular human concourse. True Christianity is centered on the Son of God who took a human nature to secure our redemption (Philippians 2:5-11). His redemptive work made it possible for us to have a genuine love relationship with God (1 John 1:1-4). Christianity is certainly not about adding things to our already busy schedules; it is about surrendering everything we have and everything we are to the One Who purchased us with His own blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). How tragic it is that millions of people do not have room in their lives for the God Who loved them first and provided for their salvation (1 John 2:2; 4:19). “Be reconciled to God!” cries the evangelist (2 Corinthians 5:20). We might add, “Make room in your life for the One who has made room for you in His blessed Kingdom!” (See: Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 14:12-24; John 14:2).
Let us “make room” for our God today, dear saints!