Monday, December 24, 2007
It was the biggest event of the year in the little town of Cornwall. It was the annual Christmas pageant, staring many of the people of the town. When it came time for casting the various parts, every parent wanted their son or daughter to be included, of course. On audition day, it didn't take long to match every part with just the right person. But then there was Harold. The little guy really wanted a part, but because of his learning disabilities, the directors kept passing him over. But Harold just kept popping up again, asking for a part. Finally, the directors gave in and they gave him what they judged to be a no-risk part - the innkeeper who comes to the door and tells Mary and Joseph the inn is full. It was a part with only one simple line. Little did they know that the stage had been set for the most memorable Christmas pageant they had ever seen.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Christmas Invitation."
The night of the pageant, you had to get there early just to get a seat. Backstage, the shepherds were putting on their bathrobes, the angels were adjusting their halos, and everyone was reviewing their lines. The directors were going over Harold's line with him one more time, "Now, remember, Harold ... 'I'm sorry, we have no room.'" Slowly, but surely, Harold repeated his line.
The men of the church had built a set that portrayed Bethlehem in the background, a manger on the right, and the inn on the left. As Act One neared its end, a weary Mary and Joseph trudged up to the inn door, desperately looking for shelter. Joseph knocked on the inn door and nothing happened. Backstage the front rows could hear the director whispering, "Now, Harold, now!" The set began to shake as Harold struggled to get the inn door open. Then, standing there in his bathrobe, Harold listened as Joseph begged for a room for his pregnant wife.
Harold said nothing. Again, the backstage whisper, "I'm sorry, we have no room." Another long pause. Finally, Harold struggled through his line, "I'm sorry - we have no room." Then he slowly closed the door. It was as Mary and Joseph began to turn away that the totally unforgettable moment came - the one no one would ever forget. Suddenly, the set started to shake again as Harold again struggled to get the door open. Before the stunned director could get to him, Harold opened the door and ran after the departing Mary and Joseph. And loud enough for people in the basement to hear, Harold shouted, "Wait! Wait! You can have my room!"
Little Harold understood exactly what Christmas really means. Luke 2:7, our word for today from the Word of God, says, "There was no room for them in the inn." But Harold understood that when the Son of God is at your door, you have to make room for Him; which is something you may have never done. You've done Christian things, you've gone to Christian meetings, you've believed Christian beliefs, you've developed a Christian image, but you've never really opened the door of your heart to the Savior who died for you, who is once again knocking on the door of your heart this Christmas. Your heart is empty because Jesus isn't there. I cannot think of a better day to change that; to finally give yourself to the One who gave Himself for you. You can open the door by praying a prayer something like this, "Jesus, I've been running my life. I resign. I believe You paid the death penalty for my sin, and right now I'm putting my total trust in You to forgive my sin and take me to heaven. I'm Yours."
If you're ready to begin that relationship, I hope you'll visit our website right away today. I think you'll find some help there and understanding how to begin that relationship and be sure that you have. It's yoursforlife.net. Or you can call a toll free number and ask for the booklet called Yours For Life. The number is 877-741-1200.
Christmas - the day Jesus came to this earth to rescue you. This is the day to give Him what He came for - to give Him you. Merry Christmas!