Monday, November 25, 2019
From the Mouths of Babes
'Tis the season for church Christmas pageants, anxious directors and nervous would-be actors. Time to dig out the costumes from last year, including Dad's bathrobe, for the re-enactment of the nativity scene.
One of my favorite Christmas stories is about a very tenderhearted young boy who was called upon to play the part of the Bethlehem innkeeper. During every rehearsal, the director encouraged the sweet lad to turn Mary and Joseph away from the inn. Finally, one week before Christmas, he managed to reply weakly to Joseph's request for a room, barely whispering, "No room." The director was thrilled, "There, dear, I knew you could do it! Good job."
The Christmas clock kept ticking away and soon the big night arrived. The beautiful angels and shepherds were all in place. Proud moms and dads, with cameras poised, packed the pews. Anticipation filled the air as strains of "Silent Night" began. Flawlessly the actors recited their lines. Then Mary and Joseph made their way to the timid innkeeper's door. "My wife is with child and the time of her delivery is near," Joseph pleads. "May we please have a room for the night?"
Through the curtain, just behind the innkeeper, the director whispers, "Say, I have no room in the inn." The little boy with the big heart bites his lip. With great effort, he says, "I'm very sorry, there is no room in the inn." Joseph turns away, as tears fall from the innkeeper's eyes. He sadly watches the couple make their way across the stage. Then suddenly the young lad's face breaks into a huge smile. "Wait!" he calls out, running to catch them, "Joseph, you can have MY room!"
By now, there isn't a dry eye in the room. The director sighs, then smiles and tosses the script aside. The spirit of Christmas has prevailed. Children have a way of getting right to the heart of the matter.
Just yesterday I asked 6-year old Gracie what she wanted for Christmas. She quickly recited a long list of toys and goodies. Then she added, "I love Christmas." I was thinking she would say because she loved getting all those gifts but instead she continued, "I love Christmas because it is God's birthday."
Thanks to the little innkeeper for reminding us that there's always a way to let the Christ child in. And thanks Gracie. If a little child can look past the gifts to the Giver, so should we. Happy birthday to One and Merry Christmas to all.