by Nick Laninga
Think what is missed by the unsaved with “no room for Jesus”- That inn-keeper missed a tremendous, one time only blessing. But think of the blessings missed by people today who refuse to make room for Jesus in their lives. Those who fail to repent and by faith receive him as Savior miss being forgiven of their sins; they miss giving glory to God and having a sense of purpose and fulfillment ; they miss his grace, and they miss heaven when they die, and go instead to an eternal hell. What about those who believe and are saved but are distracted being so busy here and there that they don’t make room for Jesus in their daily lives, they also miss out on great blessings. They miss out on a sense of His presence, and an inward peace which is only present in the lives of those who live by His standards, and who unashamedly take a firm stand and make “room for Jesus.”
In a 1966 Guideposts magazine, Dina Donahue, tells the following story. She said whenever Christmas pageants are talked about in a certain little Midwestern town, someone is sure to mention the name of Wally Purling. She said Wally’s performance in that little town’s annual performance of the Nativity play has become legend, and that the old-timers who had been in the audience that night never tired of recalling exactly what happened. Wally was nine that year and in the second grade, though he should have been in the fourth—but Wally was slow and had difficulty keeping up. He was big and rather clumsy, too, but he was well liked by the other children in his class, all of whom were smaller than he. Even though they liked him, it irritated them when Wally wanted to play ball with them they would usually find a way to keep him out. Wally would hang around anyway, though—not sulking just hoping, always with a smile. Wally had his heart on being a shepherd with a flute in the Christmas pageant that year. However, the play’s director, felt that she needed to give Wally a part with not too many lines to learn, so she told him that she was giving him an important role—that of the innkeeper. She felt his size would lend forcefulness to his refusal of a room to Joseph. A huge crowd gathered that night to see all of the children in their costumes and the props. No one was more caught up in the moment of that night than Wally. When the time came for Joseph to appear tenderly guiding Mary to the door of the inn. He knocked on the door and Wally the innkeeper responded as told and said brusquely “What do you want? Joseph answered “we seek lodging”. Looking straight ahead Wally spoke awkwardly and said “seek it elsewhere. The inn is filled.” Joseph said but “sir we have traveled far and are weary and my wife is heavy with child and is so tired.”
At that point, for the first time the innkeeper, Wally, relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary. There was a long pause—long enough to make the audience tense with embarrassment. The prompter whispered from the wings, “No! Begone!” Stiffly Wally repeated “Begone.”
Joseph sadly placed his arms around Mary, she placed her head on his shoulder and the two started to move away. But Wally the innkeeper didn’t follow the script at that point. He didn’t go back inside his inn. Rather he stood in the doorway watching the forlorn couple. His mouth open, his brow furrowed with concern, and there were TEARS in his eyes. And suddenly that Christmas pageant became different from all the others. Wally called out, “Don’t go, Joseph! Bring Mary back!” And as a big smile creased his face, Wally said, “YOU CAN HAVE MY ROOM.”
The question for all of us is “Have you made ROOM FOR JESUS in your heart. There is room at the cross for you.
Please listen to “Thou didst leave Thy Throne” make this your song! Credits from. E.S. Elliot, D.Donahue , Paul E. Brown, Major Daniel Wittle & Molly Ijames.
Blessings the Laninga’s