Just a minute ago, it hit me that I’m an inn-keeper! Well, technically speaking I’m a Front Desk Agent for a local hotel. But that’s beside the point. It’s Christmas Eve and if I had been employed 2000+ years ago, I might’ve been the inn-keeper that had to turn Joseph & Mary away from the inn due to being sold-out. That’s a crazy thought, right?
Joseph was a carpenter and Mary was a virgin who was pregnant with a child, which made her and her husband an outcast in that society, as no one believed them of course. The concept of them being outcasts really has me thinking this morning. NUMEROUS strangers (total outcasts in our society) have hung out in our hotel’s lobby, waiting for the bus, getting out of the cold, and sometimes just looking for someone to talk to. How many times have I turned these people away? How many times have I not been willing to engage them in a warm conversation? I’m sure it’s happened many times…
We have a way of classifying people; don’t we? If you graduated from college, work an 8-5 job, are married to an attractive and seemingly loving spouse, then you are deemed “approved”. You’ve earned the “respect” of your peers, right? The reality is even with all of those excellent resume-builders and various life-accomplishments you will never find the approval you’re looking for from others and that’s a sad reality of the world we live in.
So what does this mean for Believers?
Well, we serve a God of grace, mercy, and unconditional love; right? Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth in the flesh, lived a sinless life, was crucified (taking the punishment for OUR sins), died, was buried, and then rose from the grave (conquering both death and sin), so that we may have the freedom to be in fellowship with Him for all eternity! He’s rescued us from eternal torment and desires to be with us; desires to shower blessings of mercy and grace upon us, and desires to guide us lovingly towards righteousness for our own good; as any loving father should. THEREFORE, if we serve such a God, such a loving and gracious Father, shouldn’t we be willing to return that love, grace, and mercy to those we encounter in daily life? As an “innkeeper”, shouldn’t I desire to love and serve total strangers with as much love as Christ has offered me; regardless of whether or not they have been labeled as “outcasts”, “rebels”, “worthless”, “punks”, “gangsters”, and various other negative classifications.
You might not be an innkeeper of course, but I would venture to challenge your way of approaching your particular job and interactions with strangers on a daily basis. Whether you be spending leisure time in a coffee-shop (my favorite), walking the streets of downtown, shopping hastily for last-minute Christmas gifts, working, or ordering fast-food through the drive-thru (I worked at one for a whole summer once; be gracious with those cashiers. They work HARD and receive VERY little in return), you should be willing to love and serve the “lowest” of people. The Savior of the entire world served prostitutes, tax-collectors (corrupt government officials; we have plenty of those), insane, demon-possessed, and the like. If your King and Savior served these people…and you claim to be His servant; how much more so should you be willing to lay down your life, time, and resources to serve these people that they might have a chance of seeing the light of Christ in your hearts?!?!
Anyways, these are the simple ramblings of a gentleman in his early 20s attempting to serve the Lord as an “innkeeper” and as a student in college for the time-being. I don’t expect to change the world through my attempt at writing, but I’m simply sharing what the Lord has placed on my heart. I pray those of you that read anything I’ve written have been blessed and that the Holy Spirit has romanced your hearts towards righteousness!
Merry Christmas and many blessings to you and your families,