First, I want to discuss "The Inn".
The King of Kings was born into this world and delivered in a stable because there was "no room in the inn". We have heard this story over and over in our lives, and can probably quote it by memory, but there is something more that I want to show you about the inn. The inn is mentioned so very briefly, only one sentence fragment about it in the Bible, and yet it is a striking example of ourselves.
An inn, even in those days, would have been a bustling place. There were probably servants and cooks, guests coming in and out, beds to clean and make, floors to be swept. The inn would have been busy all of the time, with some sort of activity filling hours of the day and night. And yet, there was no place and no time for the very Lord of all creation to come into that space. The inn was too full.
I've heard it said many times that people in third world countries have a faith that is so strong that miracles happen every hour in their churches, and it is so natural for those miracles to occur that they are not at all surprised. The people just believe it and expect it, and God provides. And then you see the American church, washed out and watered down, hopping around in hopes of a tiny miracle, not ever having the faith to see people raised from the dead, or cancer healed by prayer. The pastor in my old church once said that he had a conversation with an African man who said he pitied Americans for their lack of faith; he said that Americans fill their lives with so much STUFF that they have no time for God. The poor people in Africa have nothing BUT God, and so therefore they have everything that they need.
There was no room in the inn because the inn was so filled with other things that there was no room for Jesus. So many of us are just like the inn, filling our lives with material desires and busy schedules, so much that we have no room or time left for Jesus. I'm guilty of it myself. Some days end with me so exhausted that the last thing I want to do is spend time reading my Bible. It is something we should all work on. Jesus died for us, the least we can do is make fifteen minutes a day to spend time in prayer or reading the Word.
Now let's discuss the stable.
You know, the thing about stables is they are full of... er.... poo. That's right, poo. So there is Jesus, the most perfect, wonderful, holy, clean and sanctified being to ever place a toe on this earth, lying in a feeding trough for animals, and surrounded by poo. How humbling a picture this is to imagine, our savior coming to earth in this way and didn't mind all of the mess around Him, but instead accepted His fate in this way.
Many people are afraid to bring Christ into their lives because of all of the mess in their lives, but as we can see from this example, He accepts the mess. People think that because they drink or cuss they can't get saved, that there is too much mess inside of them to have Christ live within them. But there is no mess that Christ can't overcome. Can you imagine the brilliance that went on in that stable, in His glorious presence? I would be willing to wager that the poo and the animals and the dirt were all secondary to Him. I can almost see the glow, you know, the one that lit the star above that stable that night, that shining light from His beautiful face that must have filled that room, sanctifying it the same way that He sanctifies us when He comes into our temples.
The stable never questioned His coming. The stable just opened a door and welcomed Him in. There was no shame of what was inside, this was the King!
So you have a clear choice here- to be the inn, too busy to find time for Him in your life, too worried about filling your time and your house and your calendar with things than filling it with His presence, or you can be like the stable, despite its humble appearance, its complete lack of pomp, and its big, dirty mess, that made an open door policy deal with Christ, and said "come on in", making way for a big change. I bet that stable was never the same. And when we humbly say, "You can stay here" to Jesus, we will never be the same either.
So I ask- are you an inn or a stable?