Dec 12, 2011

No Vacancy

"...and she wrapped him in swadling clothes and layed him in the manger, because there was no room for them in the inn..." Luke 2:7

Since almost the beginning of time they had waited. Ever since that fateful day that Eve bit the forbidden fruit and God slew the first lamb to cover the first sin, they had waited. Prophesy upon prophesy had been recorded. Father's taught their children the words about the Messiah. Mother's spoke of them at home. Children committed them to memory as soon as they could speak. The Messiah would arrive, they knew it.
Throughout captivity they had yearned for it, spoke of it, considered it, sung about it. The Messiah would come, like a lion and like a lamb. He would redeem them from their captors. He would raise them up to the promise once again. He WAS the promise. So they waited.

4,000 years they had waited. Now it was time. History was at it's centerfold. Everything was about to change. But Bethlehem, sleepy little Bethlehem, the city of the destined Messiah, was busy.

Times were changing. Everything was in upheaval. The government was expanding its realm and tightening the reigns on every citizen, the Jews were chaffing under Roman rule, zealots were beginning to lash out against the government, the religious leaders were corrupt. In the middle of everything Caesar Augustus had decreed a census to be taken, and every Jew was to return to his birthplace.
Bethlehem was bursting at the seams with business. The streets were packed, the inns were packed. Everyone had family staying in their homes. Business was booming and life was happening at a fast pace for everyone here.

In the middle of it all, in wanders a small family. A working class man and his pregnant wife, just two of the hundreds of people that wandered through the town that day. No room in the inn, so they stayed in the stable of a kindly man.

That night, in that stable the Messiah was born.

In their defense, who could have known this baby was the Messiah? There was so much going on and this Messiah looked nothing like they had expected. In fact, everything was happening exactly as God had preordained, everything went according to plan. But a few people knew what was happening. Anna for one, the beautiful old lady in the temple who had waited her whole life for a glimpse of her promised Redeemer. Simeon was another. Another soul who had watched and prayed earnestly for this day. Most people, though, were too busy to realize that the world had just changed right in the middle of them.

It all gets me to thinking about my life this holiday season. It's time for festivities. Family is in town, the world is changing all the time, the economy is in an uproar.  There is much to do and little time. There is life to be lived. Yet, in the middle of all of this, am I rushing right by the plans of God? In this little place I call my heart, do I have any vacancy for a move of God, or am I too full of my busy schedule?

I am reminded to be like Anna or Simeon in this next season. To stop and wait on God. To know His heart. To recognize what He wants to do. To spend time in the Word and in prayer so I know the times I am in. To not be so caught up in the rush of life that I don't have a place available for Christ.

When God looks for a place to accomplish His eternal purposes, I want to be ready for Him...waiting expectantly and looking upwards, ready to be used.
When the Messiah comes knocking at my door, I want to fling it open and have a welcome prepared.


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