Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem but there was no room for them and so they spent the night in the place where the animals were kept. It was into this dirty, smelly, noisy and chaotic environment that the son of God was born.
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 would 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).
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 somewhere clean and comfortable but how about us?
Do we have room for Jesus?
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.