‘Twas the night of the big Christmas play at the church.
All the boys and girls had rehearsed their lines over and over. Now each child knew his part by heart. The dress rehearsal had gone without a hitch. Each memorized line was recited flawlessly.
The actual performance, however, did not go quite as planned.
For Joey, who played Joseph in the church Christmas play, the night of his big debut had finally arrived. Realizing his parents and grandparents were in the audience, eight-year-old “Joseph” was in rare form on stage. He pounded frantically on the innkeeper’s door. When Jimmy the innkeeper peered from behind the cracked door, “Joseph” laid it on thick. “Please, please, please sir,” he pleaded, “my wife is about to have a baby! Don’t you have any room for us in the inn?”
The second-grade innkeeper, knew his lines perfectly. Countless times he had practiced his gruff speech of refusal “I’m sorry. There is no room in the inn.” But the night of the play Jimmy was so overcome by the desperate tone in “Joseph’s” cry for help. He just had to do the right thing. So, Jimmy blurted out, “I know what they want me to say, but – come on in anyway!”
There’s no room in today’s secular “inn” for Jesus either. Our culture has schooled us repeatedly to bar Him from any entrance into our lives. It’s secularism’s autocratic way of ordering us to fall into line “Learn your lines: ‘There is no room for Him.'” Just note the frantic, bizarre attempts to morph “Merry Christmas” into “Happy Holidays.” Today, as then, there’s often no place for Him. Many seem scared spitless of His name, much less His presence.
We’ve been well coached in our day to deny Him any access. Secularists have pronounced the verdict: “No room for Jesus.” But still He stands at the door and knocks. Let’s let Him in. But be forewarned: When Jesus comes in He will turn the status quo upside down. So this Christmas defy the culture umpires who try to define for you what is “in” and what (or who) is “out.” Just let Jesus in . . .
into your home . . .
into your activities . . .
into your conversations . . .
into your family gatherings . . .
and most of all . . . into your heart.
No matter how much it might mess up everyone’s little play, along with Jimmy let’s do the right thing this season. “Jesus, I know what they want me to say – but come on in anyway!”
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.