A New Twist On An Old Story
Let me see if I can get the story right. It was a junior high school production, I believe. That year they found the perfect inn keeper. Wallace Purling was a big kid– maybe just a little bit slow in the classroom. But he was well-liked by all his classmates because of his good disposition. It was his job to be at the door of the inn when Jacob and Mary came looking for a room. After they asked, he was to respond in a rather harsh tone, “No! Begone! There is no room here!” And with that he would close the door to the couple.
Well, the big night came. The little school auditorium was filled with the family members of all the cast. At the proper time Wallace took his place at the door. He watched as the weary looking couple approached. He noticed how slowly they moved. Mary was well-padded to appear heavy with child. They arrived at the door and asked if they might have a room. It was finally time for Wallace’s big line. But he looked at the couple and paused. The teacher was waiting in the wings for just such a crisis. “No! Begone!” she prompted. Finally the words came deliberately out of Wallace’s mouth. Everyone seemed relieved. But, instead of closing the door, Wallace watched the weary couple begin to slowly move down the path. A tear came to his eye and a lump to his throat. “Wait!” he called after them. “You can have my room!” (–adapted from a Reader’s Digest story of several years ago).
There were those who thought the play had been ruined. But most of the audience thought that it was just about the best play they had ever seen. I tend to agree with this last group.
The tired, dark and cold world to which Jesus came didn’t even have a proper room to offer Him in which to be born. So He was laid in a feeding trough. The people that Jesus came to help often rejected Him. He was made to feel like a stranger. They tried to kill Him in His own hometown. He was invited to leave one place then another. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him (John 1:11). Finally, as though He were a dangerous man, He was arrested, condemned and executed outside of Jerusalem. They didn’t want Him there either. It is a wonderful testimony to the amazing grace and astounding patience of Jesus, that even when they tried to make Him feel like a beggar, He wouldn’t quit. He arose from the dead that Sunday morning so long ago and has been looking for room in the hearts of folks everywhere ever since. Will you let Him in?