23rd December 2011

Plenty Of Room

“In my Fathers’ house are many rooms”
John 14:2 (NIV UK)
“There was no room for them at the inn”
Luke 2:7 (NIV UK)

Have you ever been stuck for somewhere to stay?

I once had nowhere to stay due to a severely postponed flight. It was on a church visit abroad. It was too late to book, of course, and, anyway, all the hotels were full. No church members lived nearby, and, even if some had, how could I impose on anyone at such late notice? A hot, humid, uncomfortable night’s sleep lay ahead of me on a fly-friendly bench in an unfriendly airport.

It brought back memories of a sermon I had heard years ago. The preacher said that entering God’s Kingdom was like booking into a hotel. If we don’t get the booking done in time, then we’ll be locked out with nowhere to stay. Thus “lost”. Is that true? Does that reflect the mind of God?

The Bible describes another scenario. In his grace God has made a reservation for us in his Kingdom. It has “been kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4). Jesus explained this to his disciples. He said , “I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). A booking has been made for them and for us by Jesus himself!

There has been some revisionist thinking about the story of Joseph and Mary and their being unable to find somewhere to lodge in Bethlehem. It is to the effect that the innkeeper would surely have found somewhere for someone with so important a lineage as Joseph had. After all, he was descended from King David himself. They would not have left him out on the street. Therefore, when they offered the stable, it was an invitation into the family quarters where also the favoured animals would be kept in a separate area. However it actually played out, the child, for whom there was no room at the inn, has secured a place for us in his Kingdom.

“If I go and prepare a place for you,” Jesus said, “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

Prayer
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for including us in God’s Kingdom, and for the reassurance of salvation in you.
Amen

Study by James Henderson

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