I think even those not Christian are generally familiar with the history behind, “No room in the inn.”  But I believe in covering all bases, so here’s how the account found in the beginning verses of Luke 2 goes:

A census that required men to be in their “own city” (ancestral home) was decreed.  By the time Joseph and a heavily pregnant Mary got to Bethlehem, Joseph’s ancestral home, the inn was crowded.  So much so that a pregnant woman couldn’t get a room.  So, Jesus was born in such circumstances that his crib was a manger.

Say what you will of the historicity of the account, but that’s the one most Christians know from a young age.  In the little Primary re-enactments, there was always a vehement inn keeper who was made to say, “No room!”  Sometimes, although there is no scriptural references for it, the young child was made to say it MANY times, as if there were many inns.

Over the years, room in the inn has become a lesson in making room for Christ in our lives.  One of my most beloved Christmas stories (Star Across the Tracks by Bess Streeter Aldrich) centers around it.  The Christmas activity that I am in charge of tomorrow will include this concept because, no matter how many times I hear it, I love it.

This Christmas, I want to focus on making room in my inn.  I want it to be about finding Christ in the season.  It’s not that Christmas is Christ-less, per say.  It’s that my Christmas could do with a little more Christ in it.  So, each day I’ll be talking about something I want to work on to make room in my inn in whatever way I can.

Today, I want to make room for sacrifice.

I was impressed, earlier today, by a sacrifice my family made for me.  I know it was a difficult decision.  But I am so grateful that they did.  It was a real gift of love.  Upon seeing this, I was reminded of another sacrifice made by my grandparents.

In the LDS church, we try to get married in temples, which only temple recommend holding members can do.  Not all Mormons, as we are colloquially known, can go to a wedding.  No non-LDS can.  It can be particularly trying for members who are from vastly non-member families.  Sometimes, the solution is to be civilly married so that all family can be there, then go through the temple at a later date.  My parents faced this situation, as my mother was the only member of the LDS church in her family.  They made the decision to marry civilly.  My grandparents, who knew enough about the Mormon church to understand that my parents would prefer to be married in the temple, told my mother that this was her wedding and it should be done the way she wanted.

The love it took to sacrifice seeing their daughter marry is incomprehensible to me.  I don’t have children.  But I do know that, many years later, my mom was teaching a lesson in church on sacrifice.  My grandmother happened to be there.  At some point, she said to my mother, “You know what my sacrifice was.”  She did and is grateful every day for it.  It is a gift that has blessed my family so many times.  My parents were able to start their married life in the way they believe God wanted them to, which set a tone for a truly wonderful marriage.  It is a marriage that I have been lucky to watch and to learn from my entire life.  Truly, my parents are a shining example.  Much of that comes from a commitment from the beginning to make their marriage eternal.

Those are just two instances of sacrifice made by the people in my life.  I come from a family who has taught me to understand the importance of sacrifice.  And, of course, there is the ultimate sacrifice of the Savior who chose to take my sin and pain and sorrow so that I might be able to return and live with God one day.  He is the perfect example of what a sacrifice should be: freely, willingly, and lovingly given.

Today, I want to remember a little better to make room for sacrifice in my life, to give to those around me more freely, more willingly, more lovingly.

Merry Christmas.

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