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Blog: Tom Job

A Note from Tom: December 22nd, 2010

CCC Oak Ridge

Hey, everyone!

“Merry Christmas!”

Or, if you really want to get spiritually committed, “Happy Holidays!”

I just found out that “Merry” comes form an Old English word, “myrige” that comes from an old German word, “murgijaz” which means “to make shorter”…Apparently the idea is that if something is “merry”, it’s a pleasure and makes the time go faster and the day shorter. So…if you wish someone a “Merry Christmas”, you’re hoping it’ll go by faster!

But “holiday” is really short for “holy day”. “Holy” means “belonging completely to God, preserved whole or intact for Him, never transgressed or violated”. So…a “holiday” is a day dedicated to God…praising Him, loving Him, and loving Him!

That means, if you say, “Happy Holidays” (plural!) you’re saying, “May you have many days that are totally for God! It’s awesome you love Him so much!!” If you say “Merry Christmas” maybe in a way, (in the Old German way) you’re kinda saying, “May Christmas be fun and get over soon!”

Maybe.

Kinda.

This has been a tough week for certain kids across the nation and around the world. I’m thinking about all those boys who have to be the innkeeper in their church Christmas pageants. It’s not the coolest part for young dudes (that would be “Joseph”…duh!)  You wonder how it effects kids in the pre-formative years to have to be the one who tells the Holy Family that you have no room for them. Hope it doesn’t mess them up! I remember one kid who was so mad he didn’t get to be “Joseph” that he decided to highjack the whole thing. When the Holy couple reached the cardboard inn in front of the church, the ten year old innkeeper said, “Sure! C’mon in! Shoot! We got tons of rooms empty up in here!”

The li’l Joseph was so flubberghasted, he didn’t know how to handle it! Then he thought…took a few steps in…looked around…stepped back and said, “I can’t bring my wife into this dump!”

Ever heard the inn keeper’s song from one of the greatest Christmas records of all time?..(The Statler Brother’s Christmas, of course!)

No reservation at the inn

Didn't know that you were coming in

We're all filled up you see

We got no vacancy

No reservation at the inn

Yes I understand it sir

It's only you and her

But I'm sorry to admit

We overbooked a bit

No reservation at the inn

Excuse me sir what did you say

She's in a family way

Of course out back we have a stable

We'd do more if we were able

No reservation at the inn

No reservation at the inn

Didn't know that you were coming in

You have our apologies

But we have no vacancies

No reservation at the inn.

It’s funny but when you look for the innkeeper in the Christmas stories of Matthew and Luke, you don’t find him. He’s not written about anywhere. It just says “there was no room in the inn.” (Luke 2.7) To find the innkeeper you have to look somewhere else. I found him in the mirror. John, in the first chapter of his book wrote, “…though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1.10-11)

Nobody naturally had room for Him.

I didn’t for a long time.

In the book of Job, when Job’s defending himself against all the mean and accusing things his friends are saying about him, he said he hadn’t done anything wrong. Some stuff that he said about himself wouldn’t really be true of that innkeeper…or me!

In chapter 31, Job said,

 "I haven’t withheld anything that the poor desired. (31.16)…

I haven’t seen anyone perish for lack of clothing…

the needy have been warmed with the fleece of my sheep (31.19-20)…

...but no stranger had to spend the night in the street, 
  

for my door was always open to the traveler (31.32)…

…the contempt of families hasn’t terrified me,
 to the point that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors (31.34)…”

But if we didn’t have room for Him…if all of us like the innkeeper had no place in our heart for Him (and I sure remember when I didn’t!), then, we did leave Him outside…

We did “withhold from the poor”, from Him!

We didn’t “open our door to the traveler”…we did let Him “spend the night in the street”. Thankfully they found a stable!

We have been afraid of what the families would think and “we keep silent”. We didn’t go “out of doors to Him”!

I remember when I played the innkeeper. Not in a church play. But lots of other times.

Job said, “If I did any of those things…then let my arm be separated from its socket (31.22)

If I did have an indictment against me, I would carry it on my shoulder!

I would wear it on me as a crown…” (31.36)

But I have done that stuff!

And that’s why my Savior was born at Christmas!  I left Him outside in the street.

And amazingly! He was born and Bethlehem and grew in Nazareth to one day, carry my guiltiness and my indictment of HIS shoulders through the streets of Jerusalem! He wore it like a crown…of thorns!...on His head! When His (my) cross was slammed into a hole in the ground with Him nailed to it, His arm was separated from the socket!  (Ps 22. 14)

He did it all for you! For me! For the ones who left Him outside! For those who had no room in their inn…or their hearts! He did it for those innkeepers everywhere that He loves so much!

He does!

He really does!!

That’s why, at this Christmas time, I have room for Him!

Merry Christmas everyone! We love you!