Do you know what a manger is? It’s a feeding trough that also serves as a bed for cattle. It is definitely not a place for a baby, or a Savior.
But, this is exactly where Jesus was born.
In a cattle bed.
The Greek word for ‘inn’, kataluma, also means “a lodging place”. When Joseph arrived at the Inn with a visibly pregnant Mary, they learned there was no place for them because the inn was full. Instead of welcoming the Savior of the World in comfort, Mary gave birth in some uncomfortable, unsanitary place and had to put the Son of God in a feeding trough. A feeding trough! (Luke 2:1-20)
Each inn had an opportunity to welcome the Savior of the world but they were too full to accept Him. We’re much like those inns.
We can be so preoccupied with the things of the world that we aren’t available to Christ. We put our personal desires before our relationship with Christ and have the audacity to require Him to compete for our hearts. Our “inns” are “full” with the things of this world and, in consequence, Christ’s transforming power is limited in our lives.
Have you welcomed Christ into the lodging place of your heart; or, have you allocated Him to the feeding troughs because you didn’t have room?
Our hearts were created to be a “lodging place” for the Lord to make His home with us. When we welcome Christ into our “lodging places” (hearts), we open the door for His transforming power to “give birth” to our “new life” in Christ. But we must have room to let Him in.
Personal reflection: Set aside 15 – 30 minutes today and write out the things that take priority in your heart. Not sure what those things are? Spend time in prayer asking YHWH to reveal these things. As He does this, write them down in a devotional or prayer journal.
If God is not at the top of your list it’s time to do some rearranging. First, confess the sin of putting the things of the world before God in repentance and receive God’s forgiveness (it is important you receive forgiveness). Then, ask Holy Spirit to help you put God first in all things, especially your heart and trust that He will.
If you know someone who can support you your commitment to keeping God first, share with them and set aside time each week to discuss struggles and successes.