Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Best for Jesus

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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 2:6-7).

Poor old innkeeper—dude’s not even in the story and he gets bad press every Christmas. “Selfish old codger!” “How could he turn away a pregnant woman?” “Like every businessman, he was just looking out for himself and the almighty dollar.” “How cold-hearted can a person be?!” Poor old innkeeper. Does he really deserve all this?

Who knows? He’s not even in the story. We never meet him. But he finds his way into the story every year. And some are more kind to him than others. B. P. Baker wrote this poem in his behalf:

I only did what you have done
A thousand times or more.
When Joseph came to Bethlehem
And knocked upon my door.

I did not turn the Christ away
With alibi so deft.
Like you, I simply gave to him
Whatever I had left.

Ouch! Baker hints that we were there at the inn too. And that every time we give Jesus leftovers instead of first-fruits we are playing the part of the innkeeper.

He’s got a point. And at Christmas it seems like Christ gets more leftovers than usual. We often spend foolishly and frivolously to provide more than enough gifts for people who have no need of them—I mean, seriously, how many sweaters, how many gadgets, how many toys, do we really need anyway? Seriously. So we make our list, check it twice, give to those who are naughty and nice, and if anything is left over we give a little something to the birthday boy himself, Jesus.

How about making this Christmas season different? How about giving to Jesus first? How about giving to Jesus most? How about giving to Jesus best? First, most, and best in treasure, in time, in talent. Surely your most expensive and extravagant gift should go to Jesus. It is a celebration of His birth, isn’t it? You don’t go to a birthday party and give the best gift to another guest, do you? No. You give it to the birthday boy or girl. Try that this Christmas.

Had this innkeeper known the significance of what was going on out in the stable and the importance of these guests from Nazareth, I think he might have found better space. We do know the significance. Give Christ the better gifts this year.

Guide to Prayer
· Give God thanks that He gave His best gift to you.
· Prayerfully seek God’s guidance in regard to the gifts you give Him in this season.

1 comment:

  1. We just bookmarked your blog and look forward to following your written thoughts and encouraging words. What a blessing you are to us!
    Tommy & Charlene