Wisdom of an Innkeeper
Mary and Joseph’s First Christmas (another perspective)
The weary couple at the close of day
hoped this crowded Inn was their place to stay.
Compelled by the expectant couple’s plight,
the innkeeper found them a room that night.
He ushered them into his hectic hall
When he heard God’s voice so still and small,
“Don’t birth my son in the ruckus place
Of noise and drink and want disgrace.
Is this a place to begin a life
that will change the world of dark to light?
So the keeper of the inn did say,
“There is no room for you to stay.”
And he turned the worn out couple away.
Stepping outside his lodging place,
He whispered to the groom in haste,
“There is a spot where you can stay –
out back- in my livestock stable hay.
Though not as warm as sleeping here,
it is distant from this dwelling of leer.”
“This is no place to birth a king
whose life will make the angels sing
Of love and joy and grace to all –
Don’t start His life in this reckless mall.”
Stark words he spoke, were not his own.
Where had his compassion gone?
This kind innkeeper had been used
to protect God’s son by his refuse.
The groom in livid anger said,
“I’ll take my bride to this unkempt bed
to birth a child alone this day.
But you, dear sir, will be known for all days
as he who turned the King away.
In great dismay by what he heard
The innkeeper left without word.
That night a savior child was born
in the silence of a manger lorn
With sheep and mules and cattle there
to gaze upon the baby fair.
The groom looked at his bride and child
in this quiet place of peace and mild.
He understood the innkeeper’s will.
That put them in a place so still
so they could hear the angels’ thrill
and see the star above the hill.
If they were in the noisy inn
the angels’ song could have never been
heard above the party crowd,
the star obscured by a smoky cloud.
Now they both knew the reason why
the innkeeper had passed them by
This tiny king in their arms this night
Will never be found in the noise and blight
And bustle of a world that reeks
of self excess – where egos peak.
Instead He is found in a silent night
Where angels sing and stars are bright.
As you seek your Christmas this year
Look not in the hustle and bustle so near.
Consider the innkeeper’s faithful ear
To God’s whispered voice,
which always speaks,
but seldom shouts or competes
with all the glitter, glitz and haste.
Find Christmas this year in a common place.
By Michael Alan Tate (original 2004, revised 2006)
Working Journal Entry: Where will you find Christmas this year?