On the old Route 66 in Rancho Cucamonga there is a motel that always reminds me of the kind we stayed in when I was a child. It looks like they have had the same sign for the past seventy years. It says, VACANCY or No VACANCY, free TV and Air Conditioned. The free TV was always a plus in a motel.
After driving all day I can remember coming into a town looking for a motel and sometimes there was no vacancies. That happened to Janet and I on our Honeymoon, we were going to stay in Phoenix and got there late and all we found were no vacancy signs. We had to drive another two hours to find a place to stay. But that is a whole other story for another blog, maybe.
Why was Jesus born in a Manger?
The simple answer is that there was just no room in the inn. But, behind the scenes, God used the census to get Jospeh and Mary to Bethlehem because that was were Jesus was to be born. “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting” (Micah 5:2 NKJV).
A Marginalized World
No Vacancy, born in a barn, speaks to me of identification. From His very birth, Jesus identified with the marginalized and rejected. When Jesus was choosing his disciples, Philip went to get Nathanael and told him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael’s response was, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” What was that about?
I live in a country where there is decent equality. I know there is still way too much inequality in America and the world. In way too many places today and throughout history injustice has been off the charts. Maybe that is why the Savior of the world was born in a barn, in an insignificant village and from Nazareth. “He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” Isaiah 53:3 NKJV).
Born in a Barn, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Rejected
Do you find yourself identifying with Jesus in any of these areas? Did something happen Sunday that made you feel rejected? Do Christmas gatherings bring on a feeling of being Marginalized? Have you felt those piercing words, “Can anything good come from . . .”
What can you do?
(1.) Make room for Jesus
Even those of us who know the Lord and are serving in the ministry all too often hang the “No Vacancy” sign. The business of life has a way of filling up the rooms of our life. At least whoever owned the manger made room for them. I think Jesus is, knocking on some heart’s door right now. “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you” (Revelations 3:20 MEG).
(2.) Learn from these experiences
I wish that I could learn things more easily than I seem too. It takes years and a lot of experiences for me to, get it, sometimes. Then Jesus learned much the same way. “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).
This is the message that comes when I am hit with, “No Vacancy” attitude. OH! It is all too easy to become resentful, discouraged or hurt. The life of Jesus from the barn to the cross teaches us this message, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). We may feel like Peter and be asking, how many times should I forgive? “Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22 MSG).
Be blessed and enjoy your week,
Larry – MondayMorning.cub