Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Missing Christmas: Preoccupied

The innkeeper was too busy for Christmas.

Luke 2:1-7 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)

All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiance, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

"Obviously pregnant" is how Matthew describes Mary's condition. Mary came into the busy city with Joseph and requested a room at the inn but they were turned away.

How could the innkeeper not notice? Couldn't he see that she needed a room so she would have a clean place to give birth? Wouldn't he care enough to send his wife over to where they were staying? Maybe he could have called for a midwife. Certainly a midwife would make some room somewhere and give Mary the help that she needed.

The verses in Luke say that "she brought forth her first born son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger." It sounds like Mary had this child without any assistance. The prophets said He would be despised and rejected so it isn't any surprise that his mother gave birth to him without any help, without the sanitary conditions that we expect, she had to clean him up and wrap him and lay him in a feeding trough.

The first person who missed Christmas was the innkeeper. It was right in front of him but he missed it. He told them that he didn't have room but he also missed Christmas by being so indifferent that it looks like he didn't even call for help for Mary when she gave birth.
Matthew 11:28  Then Jesus said, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
The innkeeper missed Christmas because he was too busy, he was  preoccupied, his business was booming. The city was overflowing with people from out of town because of the census. Imagine how many people were asking him for a room, there must have been people in tents and sleeping out in the open, every room of his inn was probably filled with more people than normal.

So many times we are just like the innkeeper that said that there is no room. We fill our Christmas with stuff that doesn't matter and we miss the birth of our Savior. The world around us tries to dictate what Christmas should be and it offers us plenty of distractions that take our focus off of the baby.

Just like the innkeeper the the world is ignorant, the real Christmas is right in front of them but it is getting squeezed out by a lot of false ideas of what Christmas is, many of them don't know who this baby is. All of the distractions of the season make it difficult for them to get what it is all about.

I need to be careful that I don't get distracted by the world's idea of Christmas and miss the real reason for the Christmas season. I need to share the real Christmas message with someone who doesn't know.