Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem but none of Joseph’s relatives offered them a place to stay.
Although most nativity plays have an innkeeper, the Bible doesn’t actually mention there being one. Some English Bible translations do mention an inn, but the original Greek version of the New Testament simply says that ‘there was no room for them’.
The reason that Joseph had to go to Bethlehem was because that is where his family was from and so it is natural that Mary and Joseph have tried to stay with relatives. They may have expected that family members would reject them but I’m sure that they were also hopeful that one of them might have compassion and offer them a place to stay.
Somehow Mary and Joseph ended up staying in the place where the animals were kept and when Jesus was born, his crib for the night was an animal feeding trough (more about this tomorrow).
My daughter drew this picture of Mary crying and it is really quite insightful from a 10 year old. We can get so wrapped up in the nice Nativity that we miss the pain and the trauma of what went on.
God may not protect his followers from hurt and rejection, but he does comfort, love and walk with us as we travel through life.
There was no room for Mary, Joseph and Jesus to stay, but how about us?
Do we have room for Jesus?
Will we make room for Jesus even if he offends us or we disagree with him?
Jesus came into this world as a human being and it cost him so much. The least that we can do is to offer him a place in our life.
Is it time to make more room for Jesus?
This is a part of a series of short thoughts for advent to help us to consider the events surrounding the birth of Jesus as we prepare ourselves for Christmas. You can look at the other advent reflections by clicking here.
You can read more about the birth of Jesus in Luke 2.