Saturday, December 24, 2011

Room at the Inn (Christmas Eve Sermon)

It's a monologue, spoken in the voice of Mahala, the midwife and innkeeper, and here's the end of it, more or less:

Where is your inn?  Where is your life crowded, and noisy, and ordinary?
               In your home?  At your job?  On your farm? 
               At your school?  Where you volunteer?
A friend once told me that she had realized that, if Jesus came to dinner, she would be so busy with the preparations and the serving and the cleanup that she would never sit down to talk with him.

What about if he came as an infant?  

Would you overlook him, in order to get on with more adult preoccupations?

Would you get busy with diapers and formula and forget to gaze upon the newborn?

Or would you realize that you have a manger somewhere?

               That you do have room?  In unexpected places?

I had room out back.

Maybe you make room in those places in which you help friends who need rides and household help. Maybe you have room in those times when you volunteer for the homeless or give to the community center. Maybe you find room when you welcome new folks to church. Maybe you have room in the busiest parts of your life, when you stop whatever it is you’re doing to pay attention to what someone else is saying. Maybe you have room in the darkest, loneliest, saddest places – the places out back.

I think – I think that we’re all innkeepers in one way or another.

But we may not realize just where we need to make room. 

My stable turned out to be the most important part of my inn.

What about in your life? Where is the light glowing?  Where is your manger?

Thanks be to God for the one who is here to make it shine!

Image from The Nativity Story (2006)



  1. What a question to start Christmas with! Where do I need to make room?

    Wish I were there to hear this preached in person!!

  2. Totally agree with Michelle! I'll be keeping this in mind over the next few weeks.... going into the new year.