And she gave birth to her firstborn, a
son. She wrapped him in cloths and
placed him in a manger, because there
was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7 NIV
Last year my husband and I took a road trip. We drove through fourteen states on our route to visit with family and friends—some of whom we had not seen in decades. While I was not riding a donkey, there were evenings when a “No Vacancy” sign was the last thing that I wanted to see. I did not want to be invited to sleep in the barn. I wanted a hot shower and a soft clean bed.
My mind cannot fathom the physical and emotional
distress that Mary must have been experiencing as she and Joseph reached Bethlehem and found a no vacancy greeting just in time for the birth of Jesus. Could she have expected at least a warm clean bed in which to birth the Savior of the World? Among the ponderings of her heart, could she have expected the number of times and places where Jesus would be rejected—a “No Vacancy” sign hanging on the hearts of those He encountered.
I wonder if she pondered through the millennia to the places of rejection—homes, battlefields and even churches. I ask myself how much she knew about the coming years of her Son. What did she know about His ministry and His death? What did she feel on resurrection morning? Could her human mind actually comprehend the events of her life and the life of her Son?
While we can only speculate on how much Mary knew and what she felt, there is one thing that we know for sure: “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1:38 KJV) Mary gave a resounding yes answer when asked to let Jesus come into her life, and that answer’s impact on the world reaches through eternity.
The innkeeper said no, Judas said no, Pilate said no, and down through the centuries thousands upon thousands have continued to say no—I will not let Him in. But today there is only one question. During this season when we celebrate the birth of the Savior, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, will you let Him in?
© Joyce Powell