Because my family enjoys attending, I have seen the performance many times. But this year I saw it in a whole new light.
I was feeling the weight of holding a heavy toddler on my hip right about the time Mary and Joseph knocked on the inn keeper's door. I watched as the inn keeper shook his head, shrugged his shoulders and told the weary travelers there was no room for them. And my heart sunk for Mary.
I'm sure her feet were aching and her back was burning as her swollen ankles took step after step. I imagine she willed her weighted body onward as she counted down the paces to Bethlehem where she could find rest and comfort.
But there was no comfort awaiting her. No room in the inn.
Did Mary cry when she heard those words? I'm sure I would have.
In fact I shed a tear or two for her last night as I thought about the true Christmas story. I thought about how uncomfortable Mary and Joseph must have felt knowing false accusations of infidelity rushed the rumor mill and how Mary must have struggled as she traveled pregnant and on foot for days just in time to give birth in a barn. Then I considered the greatest pain and discomfort of all, when Jesus chose to leave the pleasures and comforts of Heaven to come to this earth where he would be publicly disgraced, beaten, crucified, and left alone to pay for my sin.
The story of Christmas is not comfortable. It's the story of how God left a perfect place, to dwell among desperate people, to pay a precious price because He loves us. It's the story of self-sacrifice and saving grace. It's the story of a love worth celebrating!
Promise for Today:
Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.