I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to have Julie Sanders guest posting here today! Julie is a fellow team writer at DoNotDepart, a speaker, blogger, and the author of a new book entitled Expectant 40 Devotions for New and Expectant Moms. (For more of what Julie does, see below for her website and blog.) If you aren’t a mom, or aren’t expecting, you still won’t want to miss Julie’s words here today that speak to all hearts– hearts expectant to see the glory in Christ’s coming! Julie has such a sweet heart for worship and service and I can’t wait to share her words with you. So, here’s more from Julie…
The innkeeper missed the opportunity of a lifetime. The celebration of the coming of the Son of God needed a host, but he missed out on being part of the story of glory. Locked into the limitations of his life and his expectations of the events, he missed a divine opportunity. We don’t have to miss ours.
“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:6-7)
We imagine the encounter between the faith-led Joseph and the keeper of the inn back in Bethlehem, but we can only guess the details. There must’ve been a knock and an inquiry at the door; did Mary stand hopefully with Joseph or at a distance? Maybe she was having contractions, or maybe they were still just the expectation of a young virgin mama-to-be. With people flocking to their hometowns for the census, the hospitality industry was overwhelmed. Maybe Joseph pled with the keeper, or he may’ve dropped his head in resignation as the keeper closed the door with a slam or with an apology. We only know the Christ-bearing couple was turned away, ending up in a shelter for animals to receive the Prince of Peace. Parents do whatever it takes to care for their children, divine or not.
Perhaps the inhospitable innkeeper didn’t miss the opportunity of his lifetime. In God’s pursuit of each lost life, maybe the keeper of the crowded inn saw the star, heard the angels, or bumped into the praise-filled shepherds. Maybe he had a second chance to receive God’s gift to mankind, and maybe then he welcomed Jesus into his life.
This Christmas, hosts are needed for the celebration of the coming of the Son of God. If we aren’t careful, we might miss the glory. Are you fretting about limited seats at your table, limited time to create memories, limited days to prepare, and limited energy to serve those at your door? Loved ones have expectations about the wonder of the holidays and we do too. It’s hard to escape the expectations of those we love! From the chapter Yielding Zone in my new book Expectant, for new and expectant moms, “Maybe having a baby or adding a child to life is more about us becoming holy than about making us happy.” When we insist on seeing earthly expectations fulfilled, we risk missing the glory of Christ’s coming.
What earthly expectations could keep you from missing the glory of celebrating God’s Son this year? There’s still time to clear away the clutter and make room to welcome Jesus into our lives, our homes, our families, and our celebrations!
Dear Father who sent Your Son,
Thank you for coming to be among us, to make Yourself at home in our lives. There is room for you in our homes, our families, and our hearts this Christmas. Welcome, Jesus!
Click to Tweet: Let the Innkeeper inspire you to make room for Jesus. #Expectant
Julie lives where tea is sweet and grits are cheesy. She and her husband of 25 years have two nearly grown kids. EXPECTANT: 40 Devotions for New and Expectant Moms was born when God brought a group of young couples into their lives, just as they began to long to grow their families. Julie loves to teach God’s word to women in her hometown and across the globe; she is passionate about fighting human trafficking and helping women of all tribes and tongues find God’s peace for life. Check out Julie’s blog home Come Have a Peace (www.juliesanders.org) and Marriage Mondays to find reasons for peace and information about her ministry.
Other ways to connect with Julie Sanders:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ComeHaveaPeace with One Minute4MOM