A Place for Jesus
“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”1
There is a well-known children’s book called “Mortimer’s Christmas Manger”, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman, that is read by many families during Christmastime. The book tells the story of a small mouse named Mortimer who lives in a dark hole under the stairs in a big house. He disliked this hole very much, so he decided to look for a new home within the same house. One day he came across a house that was just his size that sat on a table next to the Christmas tree. When he climbed up to take a look, he saw it was occupied by small people. After trying to speak with these people, he realized that they were small statues, so he decided to drag them out of the house so that he could live there. This new house he had found was actually a Nativity set with all of the characters that form part of it, amongst these was baby Jesus.
He was so very pleased with this new house, especially with the new bed (manger) which was just his size. He went out during the day to find food, and when he returned to his home, he found all of the characters placed neatly back where they belonged. So, he tugged and pulled until he got all of them out again. This happened day after day until one day when he overheard the father of the family telling a story. The father told the story of how Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem and how there was no room for them in the inn. Then Mortimer heard about a baby. A baby who was born in a stable and had no real bed but slept in a wooden manger, and that his name was Jesus. Suddenly he realized that all this time he had been kicking Jesus out of his home! With tears in his eyes, he runs to baby Jesus and says “There was no room for you in the inn. But I know where there is room.” He quickly puts all of the statues back in their place, and lies Jesus back in the manger.
This may seem like a simple children’s tale, but it has a very special message for us this Christmas. During the holiday season, many of us run from here to there trying to get all we need to make Christmas a special time: decorations, the Christmas tree, gifts, etc. In the busyness of it all, we forget the main reason for Christmas – Jesus. We “kick” him out of his home (our hearts) and selfishly try to fill that place with our own stuff.
Friends, let me invite you to pause right where you are and listen. Listen to Jesus knocking on the door of our hearts waiting for us to give him his rightful place in our lives. After all, He and He alone, is the reason we celebrate. Born to us as a baby, who then grew to take our place on that rugged cross and pay the penalty for our sins. We were bought with a great price. Let’s choose to make a place for Jesus in our hearts once again, and keep him there for good.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for giving us the greatest gift of all in your only Son Jesus. Please forgive us for filling our hearts and lives with our own agenda and leaving no place for Him. Allow us to pause and reflect and remember the reason we celebrate today. Jesus, we welcome you back into our hearts where we ask you to live and reign forever as our Lord and Savior. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
1. Luke 2:7 (ESV)
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.