by Shayla Asselin
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
“Dad, are we there yet?!” “No, Josiah. If I’ve told you once today, I’ve told you twenty times - we are not there yet.” Martha just shook her head. She was becoming impatient too and could hardly wait to get where they were going. Their donkey had not been cooperating the past few days, a wagon wheel had fallen off, they had run out of the good food the day before, and she still hadn’t got her husband, Jacob, a gift for his birthday. She was just ready for this trip to be over. Everyone was tired, hungry, and just a little grumpy. Just as Josiah was about to ask for the 21st time, “are we there yet?”, they saw the faint lights of town. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
However, all was not calm when they arrived. People were hustling and bustling throughout the town, the animals were making a racket, and a little drummer boy was banging away over in the corner. “Jacob, please hurry up and find us a room,” Martha begged. “I’m trying,” he said, “all the inns are full.” They tried the last Inn, and to their relief, the innkeeper had just one more room available. “Go upstairs to unpack, and we’ll have a hot meal waiting for you when you come back down,” the innkeeper said. Because they were desperately hungry, they unpacked in record time and ran back down to the dining room.
Just as they were sitting down, they heard a knock on the door. A young couple was frantically searching for a room, but the innkeeper told them that there was no room left in the inn. As Jacob, Martha, and Josiah were finishing supper, they heard the young couple pleading one more time for a place to sleep. “Mister, I already told you, I just gave my last room away to that family over there,” the innkeeper said as he pointed in the direction of Jacob, Martha, and Josiah. “The only thing I have to offer you is the stable, but I’m not sure that is a very good place for someone in your wife’s condition.” Martha watched as they graciously accepted the less than accommodating offer and walked off into the dark night. She felt a smidgen of guilt but shrugged it off as they made their way back to their nice, warm room. Because of the hectic day, she quickly drifted off to sleep without another thought of the young couple from earlier.
During the middle of the night, the cries of a baby awakened Martha. “So much for my silent night,” she thought. But because of the chaos of the day and the busy day ahead, she rolled over, pulled the blanket up over her ears, and drifted back to sleep.
She never realized that she had ignored the baby that would change the world.
As you've probably realized by now, I let my imagination wonder a little for this blog. Of course,I don’t know if there was a Jacob, Martha, and Josiah in the little town of Bethlehem on the night of Jesus’ birth. But I do know, that many people completely missed the birth of the very Messiah they had been waiting for their whole lives. It has always amazed me that the very same star that guided the shepherds and the Wise Men to Jesus from miles away did not captivate the people in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Maybe it was the chaos of the day or the preparations for tomorrow that distracted them. Maybe they were just too busy to be bothered by a baby boy. No matter the excuse, Bethlehem will always be remembered as the town with no room for it’s King.
Today, it’s easy to get caught up in the parties and presents. Everyone has someplace to be and somewhere to go. Sometimes we're so busy we forget to breathe, much less take a few moments and rest in the peace given to us by the babe in a manger. I imagine Mary and Joseph might have felt a little overwhelmed at times with all their visitors throughout that glorious night. But I think Mary treasured those moments, right after Jesus' birth, where it was just Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, This beautiful, quiet moment, alone with Jesus, is what all of us need during the midst of every season of life.
I’m not trying to discourage the fun and festivities that come with the Christmas season. I enjoy them!
But I do ask that you make room for Christ this Christmas.
Don’t let the chaos of Christmas distract from the Christ of Christmas. After all, what is Christmas without Christ?