Day 24. December 24, 2019
Nativity Companion: The Innkeeper
God might we be a people of compassion and humility who make room for others who are longing for redemption. AMEN.
Luke 2:33-38 (NRSV).
33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
36 There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped there with fasting and prayer night and day. 38 At that moment she came and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Reflection from David Yeats
While Scripture does not identify an innkeeper, it is quite possible that this person played a key role in assisting Mary and Joseph, who needed a place for the birth of Jesus. The inn would not have been a private place, especially at this busy time. Luke writes “while they were there”, which might mean that Mary and Joseph were staying at the inn and knew the innkeeper. But when it was time for Jesus to be born, the considerate innkeeper found a stable away from the crowd for the birth to take place.
It would seem that the innkeeper was a compassionate person and di the best he could to provide a private, quiet place. Could it be the animals in the stable provided warmth on a cool night? It became the best place for the smelly shepherds to gather and rejoice at the birth of the Christ-child, under the guiding star. Such a humble shelter, provided by a humble, caring innkeeper.
Sometimes a little kindness and hospitality goes a long way to meet a person’s need. The innkeeper probably had no idea who the Christ-child was, but he did his best to meet an urgent need. A reminder to all of us to be “the hands and feet” of Jesus, to extend care and concern to those who cross our path:
BE AN INNKEEPER!
Questions for Consideration.
God, thank you for how you utilize all of us to collectively meet the needs of your people. Whether we are lawyers, parents, doctors, teachers, or innkeepers, might we be committed to extending care and concern for all who cross our path. For your sake and in our desire to follow your ways, AMEN.