The People in the Inn

We all know the story. Joseph and Mary arrived at the inn, only to find that every available space was occupied. It was packed full. The innkeeper offered a space in the barn to the young couple. It wouldn’t be fancy, but it would be safe and out of the elements. That night the miracle that is Christmas took place. In that inn’s stable the Lord of all creation was born in the form of a small, helpless child.

I had never given any real thought to the people in the inn until recently. I read a sentence or two that pointed out that they were right there next to history in the making, but they completely missed it. Most likely they were people like Joseph and Mary—in town for the census. They were focused on their business and completely unaware of the drama taking place in the stable. I wonder how many of them even knew there was a baby born in the stable that night.

I wonder how often that happens to us. Miracles are taking place and we’re so caught up in our own agenda, our own business, that we completely miss them. I’m sad to say that it’s probably fairly frequently.

It’s my desire to become more aware of what’s happening around me. I don’t want to be like the woman I’m imagining. She’s standing there at one of Jesus’ many public appearances. People around her are talking about who He is and where He came from, and she says, “Oh, my gosh! You mean he was born in the stable of the Bethlehem Best Inn on that night? Bob and I were staying there that night. I had no idea!”


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