Imagine being the Innkeeper who turned away Joseph and Mary? I mean, it was no doubt a busy time in Bethlehem, with people pouring in from all over to get counted as per the Roman census, but couldn’t something be found to accommodate this despondent young couple? Wasn’t there an open closet somewhere, or couldn’t a hallway bed be set up at least for the obviously very pregnant Mary to lay on?
The Innkeeper of course was clueless to the miracle he was being invited to participate in. Having been been slammed all day with loads of arriving guests, many who were cranky and hungry after long days of travel, the Innkeeper could not see the divine magic theater playing out right in front of him.
Two weary travelers, both likely covered in road dust and not smelling very pretty asked the Innkeeper for a room he just did not have and that they probably could not afford. The logical and understandable answer was a quick and easy no.
I mean, how on earth was the Innkeeper to know he was rejecting the mother to be of Jesus Christ Himself? That he had just willingly refused to allow the use of his establishment to bring in to being the future Son of God?
What if though our Innkeeper had looked in to Mary’s eyes and seen the tears just beginning to form and sensed her fear? What if he hadn’t ignored the increasing desperation in Joseph’s voice as he pleaded for a room? What if at that very moment, the busy Innkeeper had simply paused for a moment and thought, what could be done here to help this young couple out and prayed to God for guidance?
Surely at that moment God, who had brought Joseph and Mary to the Innkeeper’s door, would have opened a way forward for them to be taken care of. But no. Our busy Innkeeper’s head was too filled with the busyness of business instead of the business of humanity and so was not open to what God was trying to do.
It was not even on his radar.
And so, the invitation to participate in the greatest miracle our world has ever seen was not only declined but never even noticed to begin with.
Compare this to how Mary responded to Gabriel the angel, sent by God with the frankly insane news that she was to become pregnant with and give birth to God’s son and oh by the way her husband to be will not be the father. This baby will somehow just manifest in her womb.
Mary might have been young but she was not dumb and so fully understood the trouble being unmarried and pregnant would bring her. Her response to this divine appointment?
“Yes, I am a servant of the Lord, let this happen to me according to your word,” Luke 1:38.
Now, I could be wrong but I’m thinking that for most of us, God won’t send such an obvious sign as an angel giving explicit instructions on what we are to do. He does however leave clues for us all the time. Simple ones like:
The person behind you in line who for no reason at all opens up to you about their problems.
That nagging thought in your head about a loved one who you’ve been meaning to reach out to.
Random problems that come in your life that, while unpleasant, open doors of opportunity that otherwise wouldn’t have happened.
Listen to that person, call that loved one, go through that door of opportunity!
We always have a choice whether or not to acknowledge the divine frequency playing out behind the scenes of our lives, something God practically begs us to jump in to. Of course, it will not thwart His plans one iota if we do not because He always finds a way to bring them to fruition. He will work with you and through you like Mary, or around you like the Innkeeper.
The world needs more Mary’s and less Innkeepers.