December 11: Luke 2:6-7 NLT

Who is the Innkeeper? The Bible doesn’t tell us much about him or her. In fact, the Bible doesn’t even clearly mention an innkeeper, just that there was no room at the inn for Joseph and a very pregnant Mary.

Over the years there has been speculation about the innkeeper and what kind of man he was. One view says he was uncaring and unmoved by this couple’s predicament and let them stay in a cave where the animals rested just to get them out of his hair. He probably charged the same rates as a regular room. That old scrooge!

The other view of the innkeeper is the opposite. He is caring and loving and did his best to help the family find lodging when Bethlehem was so overcrowded by the census. A good-hearted soul who created something for them out of nothing.

Which view do we take toward the innkeeper? How we answer that question may give us insight into how we view the world. If we see the innkeeper as an uncaring person who could have treated Joseph’s family better, maybe that is how we see the world. The world, its people, and its institutions, cannot be trusted and there is little to be optimistic or hopeful about. Our world view is sour.

On the other hand, if our view of the innkeeper is the opposite, then we are more likely to see people as caring and with good hearts. There is much good in the world among people and institutions.

How does our imagination picture the innkeeper and is that a reflection of our world? What journey does that view take us on? Is it a journey of distrust and keeping everyone at arm’s length, or is it a journey of hope and taking the risk to help others? Yes, the world can be cruel, but will we be part of Jesus’ promise to overcome the world?

Prayer: The great loving act of sending Jesus to me should help me love the world. Give me the heart to do what you call me to do, God.

Reflection Questions

How do you view the innkeeper? Caring/loving or uncaring/unmoved by a woman who is about to give birth? 

We are given opportunities daily to meet others needs and to love those that God created. How are you responding?

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