There were no Holiday Inns in Bethlehem. I’ve read that the word used is actually translated better as “guest chamber”. Homes would have a guest chambers where one might stay. This was so much more than a hotel clerk saying everything’s full.
All of Joseph’s close family and extended family were in town for the Census. Nobody would let them stay with them, or share a room with them. They were either selfish, or they viewed Mary’s pregnancy as something shameful. They were given a place in a stable with the animals.
There was no compassion for a woman in labor, only rejection. In a tribal society, family and your position in it was everything. Jesus came into this world rejected by man. He was born outside of the city in a place of shame.
Jesus would die outside of the city after being rejected by the Jewish people. First they chose Barabbas over Jesus, then they chose Caesar over the King of the Jews and finally they chose death over life as they yelled “Crucify him!” Three times they rejected Him. Then he was led outside the city to die a shameful death.
St. John says, “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not. He came to his own home, and his own people received him not.”
Our hearts have a guest chamber that is meant to be filled with God. Sometimes it is so full of our possessions or our need for worldly approval, that there is no room for him. All those things are fleeting. At Christ’s birth, the Holy Family had none of those things. Ponder this as you read Jesus’ message to those in Laodicea from the Book of Revelations.
I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door. I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Is there room in the guest chamber of your heart for Christ?
Scriptures referenced: John 1:11-12, Revelations 3:15-20
#trcot #tcot #No Room at the Inn #Advent #Laodicea