A decree, or census, had been ordered by Caesar Augustus for each nation to be counted by family and tribe. Joseph and Mary were descendants of David so they had to travel to their tribal home of Bethlehem in Judea. From Nazareth, where they currently lived, to Bethlehem was about a 70 mile journey. Not too bad, huh? Just hop in the car and it would only take a little over a hour. WRONG! They had a few things against them:
...first, Mary was pregnant, most likely in the latter stages of pregnancy, making any trip uncomfortable
...second, they didn’t have a comfy little car with an AC and CD player to hop in and enjoy a quick ride over to the next town, all they had was a stubborn little donkey
...third, there were no Chick-fil-a’s or Starbucks' along the way to stop and eat, they had to take food and water with them
...fourth, there were no exits for hotels, so they had to sleep under the stars with the bugs and other creepy crawlies
...fifth, the D.O.T. hadn’t made it to their area yet to pave the roads, so they trekked through treacherous mountain terrain- Joseph walking and Mary, pregnant, riding on a donkey that was also carrying food, water, blankets, and anything else they might have needed.
Are you getting the idea here? This trip wasn’t FUN. It was hard; very hard. When they finally got the Bethlehem they were ready to be in a nice warm inn, enjoy a yummy meal, and sleep in a cozy bed.
Scripture doesn’t tell us exactly how many inn doors they knocked on trying to find a room for the night. My guess would be that it was more than one. Because there were so many people who had traveled to Bethlehem for the census, every room in the entire city was booked. There was no nice warm room, no yummy food to eat, no cozy bed to sleep in. Nothing. Nowhere. Noda. There was no room for them.
As I mediated on this passage the past few days, the Lord asked me this question, “do YOU have room for Me? In the midst of the business of your life right now, the Christmas parties, the shopping, the traveling, the kids, everything you think you have to do, do you have room for Me?” My first response was, of course I do, Lord. Don’t You remember the 5 minutes I spent with You a few days ago, and didn’t You see me reading the story to my children about baby Jesus in the manger, and….?" Then I had to stop. "You know what, Lord, You are right. I haven’t had room for You. I’ve been too caught up in the season to remember its reason. I am so sorry!"
Beloved, do YOU have room God? If not, stop right now and seek His forgiveness for not giving Him His rightful place in your life. Let Him, today and everyday, fill up every room in your life.