Home for the Holidays
The Holiday Season is richly upon us. You know the story, you have heard it time and time again. A mom and a dad, with a baby on the way in search of the most basic human need: a place to lay down their burdens and rest their heads. You know how the story ends. Take a minute, settle yourself where you are, take a deep breath, and try to insert yourself into this ancient story. Can you imagine the anxiety and fear experienced by Mary and Joseph, pregnant and tired? Far from home and in need of compassion and empathy from whomever would extend it to them in the form of a place to stay. Imagine that you are the faithful Inn Keeper. The Inn Keeper who initially thought he had nothing to give, but upon further inspection determined that he could extend hospitality to this family in need. What he had to give was not perfect by any means, but it blessed the family profoundly. The inn keeper was not able to help every traveling family that night, but he was able to provide needed shelter to one family.
Friends, during this Holiday Season we may find ourselves experiencing the emotions of many of the characters in this story. Perhaps we feel like Mary and Joseph, anxious for what is to come. Perhaps we feel like the Wise Men, searching diligently for some good news. No matter what emotions we experience this Holiday Season, we can all recognize our place in the story as the Inn Keeper. No matter what our inn looks like: full or empty, immaculate or bare, abundant or scarce, during this Holiday Season we all have something to offer to the modern-day Mary’s and Joseph’s we encounter. No matter if we can offer time or treasure, we can all join the story of the Inn Keeper; sharing in whatever we have to show compassion and empathy to a world that needs it desperately.