The Innkeeper

The night fell like a blanket on the hills and valleys of Israel, a black blanket tucked into every curve and cave where Isaiah had promised 700 years before that.

The people that sit in darkness will see a great light.

For a child is born to us, a Son will be given to us, and the government shall rest upon His shoulders and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9

Mary and Joseph had the Word in their hearts when they arrived at the Inn in Bethlehem needing a place to rest. They were in the precise place that the Father had ordained when He spoke to Micah the prophet centuries before … Bethlehem in Judah.

The Innkeeper

We call you old in the Christmas pageants, perhaps
you were merely a young son, sent to unbolt the door.
We malign you as mean-spirited and cutting
as a sharp wind on a lonely night.
We accuse you of our locked hearts, there is
no room at the Inn of the Soul.

Frantic with preparation of food, frustrated
with stacks of gifts to buy, bills to pay,
overwhelmed with cards to write, aggravating
burned out lights, exhausting parties and pageants –
are the angel wings on straight – careful
the shepherd doesn’t trip on his robe!

One snow-bright Christmas eve,
Great-grandfather Kennedy
taught me the lesson of the Innkeeper.
I poured more steaming coffee as we gathered
around the glowing Tree. Daddy added fragrant
pine to the fire, as the Grandmother – Angels,
softly singing Silent Night,
fluttered their imaginary wings.
Grandpa A.E., governor of Syria, ordered the census.
Our young son, as Joseph, readied the donkey-dog,
big sister cradled her baby doll and walked wearily
to the Inn of the Living Room.

The compassion in the Innkeeper’s eyes,
the caring in his outstretched hands,
the tenderness in his voice –
No room in the Inn,
but come with me to the stable,
the animal’s steam will warm you,
the hay is dry and sweet, there will be no charge.
You are my guests in this poor humble abode.

Reference: Luke 2

by Joyce Carr Stedelbauer

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