This week I read a blog that addressed the question: “What is your favorite Christmas song?”
I've been pondering that off and on since I read the author's response. So many of the beautiful carols have hopeful lyrics that remind us that Jesus will come again as surely as He came so many years ago, Acts 1:11. Others remind us of the precious truth that ordinary people like shepherds, Mary and Joseph were an integral part of His life here on earth, Luke 2:1-20. What to choose? More about my choice later.
In addition to Christmas songs, I have also been thinking about one person in the Christmas story who is often quoted, even though we know neither his exact words or the feeling behind them. The innkeeper. In the pageants, he is purported to have said that ‘there is no room in the inn’. Words he surely might have said, but we can't know for sure. Here's yet another thing we don't know. Was his tone of voice a lament? Was he apathetic and cold or was he irritated and weary? There isn't any way to know. Yet, as I considered him, two thoughts came to mind.
First, we have each felt the sting of the words "there's no room for you". Oh, the thought might have been conveyed with different syllables; however, the result was the same. Perhaps you have heard:
1. We'll have to let you go. We're going younger. "There's no room for you."
2. I'm leaving. There is someone else. "There's no room for you."
3. You were qualified but not chosen. "There's no room for you."
4. We could only invite a certain number, and we had to stop somewhere.
"There's no room for you."
5. We don't think our clients whom we serve would like you. "There's no room for you."
Whether or not any of these statements are said with sadness, apathy or irritation, it is a reminder that doors are frequently closed to each of us, whether on purpose or simply because circumstances demand that it be so.
Second, Jesus will never say those words to anyone concerning the most precious gift anyone can receive, a relationship with the Heavenly Father, John 14:6. Imagine it, there is no person, no matter his status or depth of wrongdoing to whom Jesus will ever say, “there's no room for you in my kingdom." Think of it, there is no person, no matter her weaknesses or flaws to whom the Savior will say, "there's no room for you in my kingdom."
Those thoughts helped me choose my favorite song with a Christmas message, "There's Room at the Cross". Yes, I know it isn't a traditional carol; however, to me the message of Christmas pours through the song's simple words:
Though millions have found him a friend
And have turned from the sins they have sinned
The Savior still waits to open the gates
And welcome a sinner before it's too late.
There's room at the cross for you
There's room at the cross for you
Though millions have come, there's still room for one
Yes, there's room at the cross for you.
I love the truths of both the big picture of salvation and the sweetness of God's individual love for each one of us. Millions have come. That is the truth expressed in Revelation 5:9. Imagine the beauty of the honor being given to Jesus from such a throng from all nations and people groups. God's kingdom is large and vast. Yet, He sees people as individuals. We are not merely specks to the Savior, not faceless people in the crowd, Matthew 9:35-38. He sees us in all our need, and He calls us one by one. There is plenty of room for any who will run to Jesus.
Yet, what about our scripture from Revelation 20:7-11. He will turn away many at that time, but not because there is not room for each of them. No, it will be solely because of either their hostility or indifference. They had not come to the One Who had room for them, Matthew 11:28-30. That is why their names were not found in the Book of Life.
In John 14:1-3, Jesus told His disciples that He would be leaving and that He would prepare a place for them. He is the "In keeper" Who not only is the door, John 10:7-9, He also has made preparations for all who will enter through Him.
Christmas is a reminder that Jesus still holds out the opportunity to anyone who wants deliverance from his sins. We who have already come to understand that there is room at the cross for us pray that those we love as well as anyone who might read this, would also come to know Jesus' personal love, John 3:16.