There was no room for them in the inn. - Luke 2:7b (NASB)
It was Tuesday after school at Barney was sitting in the library studying for a report he had to write on winter weather. Well, he was suppose to be studying but he kept day dreaming about Christmas. He kept thinking about Christmas morning when his family would gather around the tree and read the Christmas story, open presents and than there was the big turkey dinner.
As he took a deep breath wishing he could already smell the turkey, he got a strong whiff of chili. “Chili?” he said out loud and started sniffing the air. “Yeah, it's chili.” came a voice from behind him. “There wasn't any more tomato sauce left in town.” “Oh, no!” Barney said and hid his face in his book, “Please tell me I'm still dreaming and Harold isn't standing behind me.”
“You're not really reading that book are you?” Harold asked. “No Barney replied, “I should be but I'm too excited for Christmas to get here.” “I'm not.” Harold said disappointedly. “I'm not getting anything for Christmas and it's all Joey's fault.”
“Joey?” Barney asked “Who's Joey? I know everybody you know, and I don't know any body named Joey.” “Joey was the name I gave my skunk.” Harold said sounding very disappointed. “If he would have stayed under my coat in church I would still be getting lots of stuff. But no, Joey had to squirm out of my coat and start spraying.”
“That's what you get for being stupid.” Barney said. But Harold never even heard him. “Why in the world did you catch that skunk for in the first place?” Barney asked. “And the worst part is I no longer have the skunk.” Harold responded. “What?” Barney injected. “Oh,” Harold said realizing the conversation had changed. “I wanted him to keep people out of my bedroom.”
“I've seen your room, Harold” Barney said, “I've even tried to get into your room. You don't need a skunk.” “Yes I do!” Harold protested. “No you don't” Barney replied, You have so much stuff on the floor in your room that no-one can get in. “I can!” Harold interrupted. “I bet you can't even find your bed.” Barney continued.
“You're right there.” Harold said in agreement, “I took it apart to make a fort.” “Can you find the fort?” Barney asked next. Not wanting to say no, Harold quickly changed the subject. “By the way,” he asked, “Do you know how much dump trucks cost? Not the little toy ones but the big ones like they have down at Bob's construction company.”
“Dump Truck!” Barney shouted forgetting he was in a library. “Why do you want a dump truck?!” “Shhh!” Harold said, “I can't tell you” Harold whispered in return, “It's a surprise I'm working on. And I don't want anyone to know.” “What!” Barney shouted again. This time he had a room full of people telling him “Shhh!” “I can't tell you.” Harold whispered again. “It's a surprise.” and then he left.
Do you have a room like Harold's? A room that so much stuff in it that you can't move. And still you want more? I think too many of us are like Harold's room in the way we live. Like Harold's room, our lives are full of stuff, too much stuff and we want more and more and than something comes along that we should have and there is no room for it.
Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, "'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Matthew 19:16-22 (NIV)
The man wanted eternal life, he wanted something we all would love to have. Jesus told him he needed to keep the commandments which he had done from his youth. And Jesus told him to sell what he had and give it to the poor. The man couldn't do it, the stuff meant too much to him.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:4-7 (NASB)
Like the inn in the Christmas story, too many of us have no room for Jesus, our lives are full, full of stuff, things that don't matter in the long run.
Matthew 16:26 Reminds us that all the stuff in the world is of no value and won't get us what's important. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (NIV)
Matthew 13:32 reminds us that the cares of this life and the lures of wealth, that stuff crowds out what's important. The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced. (NLT)
Here's some advice from Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. (NLT)
As we enter the Christmas season will you let too much stuff crowd out the important, Jesus, our Savior?
Here's Something To Ponder
- Is your life full of stuff?
- Are you giving room to Jesus?