For over two thousand years, the words “No Room” have been synonymous with the birth of Jesus. A fictitious hotel manager in Bethlehem infamously denied the pregnant Mary and her new husband, Joseph, space within his establishment, and consequentially, the Savior of the world was born in the lowest of low conditions. The innkeeper is a fitting symbol of all the people that neither “recognized” nor “received” Jesus, as is pointed out in John 1:9-11. The only problem is that the innkeeper is a made-up character in the story in order to fill in the gaps of what the Bible doesn’t say. No one really knows why there was no room or exactly why Jesus was born in less than ideal conditions. What we do know is that Bethlehem, in the year of Jesus’ birth was occupied and full. Now, occupied and full are concepts we all know something about. We do not need a scapegoat innkeeper to better understand that it is possible to be too full and occupied to receive Jesus within our own Bethlehem this Christmas. If we desire for Jesus to be born in us this Christmas, we will need to assign room for Him. Assigning room to Jesus this Christmas is not the same as celebrating Christmas. Buying gifts, spending time with family, traditions kept, or even going to Church during Christmas cannot take the place of celebrating Jesus, loving Jesus and having Jesus be born in you this Christmas. When we honor Jesus in our lives, the rest of our Christmas celebrations will be more fulfilling. Stay Close to Jesus – Pastor Bryce