“Wait, Joseph; You Can Have My Room”

       The Christmas story is a great story of how God sent His Son to the earth to die for sins. In the Christmas story there is Joseph & Mary, the Shepherds, the Wise Men and of course, baby Jesus. And, there is the inn keeper.
       Time has not been good to the inn-keeper. He is known as the man who had no room for Jesus. One of the best stories about Christmas that I’ve heard involved a young boy playing the inn-keeper in a school play. His name was Wally Purling.
       Wally Purling was given the role of Innkeeper in the school Christmas play. The night for the play came and the building was packed!
      When the time came for Joseph to appear, he knocked on the wooden door that was the door for the inn. Wally the innkeeper was there, waiting.
      Wally swung the door open with a brusque gesture and said, “What do you want?”
      Joseph replied, “We seek lodging.”
      Wally replied, “Seek it elsewhere, the inn is filled.”
Joseph replied, “Sir we have asked everywhere in vain. We have traveled far and are very weary.”
Wally replied, “There is no room in this inn for you.”
      Then Joseph said, “Please, good innkeeper, this is my wife, Mary. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest. Surely you must have some small corner for her. She is so tired.”
      Then, for the first time, the innkeeper relaxed his stiff stance and looked down at Mary.       There was a long pause.. long enough to make the audience a bit tense with embarrassment. Wally seemed to have forgotten his lines.
      The prompter whispered, “No! Begone!”
      Wally replied automatically, “Begone!”
      Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary and Mary laid her head upon her husband’s shoulder and the two of them started to move away. But Wally didn’t return inside his inn. He stood there at the doorway, watching the disheartened couple. Wally felt for Joseph and       Mary. His eyes were filling with tears.
       Suddenly this Christmas pageant became different from all others.
      Wally said, “Don’t go, Joseph. Bring Mary back.” And Wally Purling’s face grew into a bright smile. “You can have my room,” Wally said.
       Some people in town thought that the pageant had been ruined. Yet there were others—many, many others—who considered it the most Christmas of all Christmas pageants they had ever seen.
      What about you? Would you tell Joseph to “be gone,” or would you say, “take my room Joseph?”
This Christmas and every day, we should make room in our inn for Jesus.

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