Holding Back Space for Jesus
Luke 2: 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 
I have been told that hotel managers are often instructed to hold back one, two or even a few rooms for special, unannounced guests. Even though they may post that there is no vacancy, there may be one or more unoccupied rooms in case, say for example, President Obama and his family, secret service and the rest of his entourage showed up in the middle of the night without any prior notice.
In the Christmas Story, Luke informs the reader that because there was no room in the inn, Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus were allowed to stay in the stable with the animals. Like the modern-day hotel, the inn-keeper in Bethlehem made space for the last minute, important guests. Mary, Joseph and Jesus were important in the eyes of the inn-keeper because she was pregnant and about to deliver her child. It was the humanity of the inn-keeper that pierced his heart with compassion and compelled him to find space for the Holy Family.
One lesson from this story is that we should always be aware of human need. The inn-keeper had no idea this was the Holy Family, chosen by God for the salvation of the world. All he knew was that Mary was pregnant, Joseph was by her side and nothing would keep the little baby Jesus from being born! From the perspective of the inn-keeper, the most important thing he could do was to provide space for the young couple.
In thinking about the inn-keeper, what space will you reserve for Jesus? What space will you reserve for those in need? What space will you set aside so that the Lord might come into your life, today? Will you make room for Jesus or turn away Jesus because you think you have reached your capacity and can give and do no more?
Prayer: Lord teach me to always be aware of human need. Lord, make me never so busy that I refuse to help those who are in discomfort and distress. Open my eyes to the suffering in the world and grant me the courage to stand up for those who are in need. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers, Photos and Meditations written and taken by Rev. Dr.Nicholas Hood III can be found a https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/