Journey to the Manger: Innkeeper

The kids created comfy beds in the living room to think about what it would be like to trade comfort to serve Christ.

The kids created comfy beds in the living room to think about what it would be like to trade our comfort to serve Christ.

The innkeeper told us there was no room at the inn today on our Journey to the Manger.

When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, they could not find a place to stay. Then Mary went into labor, and Joseph did what he had to do by delivering the Son of God in a stable.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

– Luke 2:7



Though we don’t know if an innkeeper turned Joseph and Mary away, Scripture tells us there wasn’t room. That means someone wasn’t willing to give up their sleeping space so a very pregnant woman could find comfort for the night. No one intervened when Mary went into labor to let her in so her child could enter the world in a more sanitary space. Joseph and Mary ended up in a dirty barn and placed their newborn son in a trough where the animals ate.

Why didn’t someone speak up? Where was the compassion that night, as a girl on the verge of having a baby was turned away?

Our hearts are much like that inn. We fill it with relationships, busy schedules, activities and agendas, until there is no room left for the Savior. We place our comfort, our desires and our priorities ahead of submitting to and serving the God who gave us life.

This Christmas, let’s evaluate the real estate of our heart. What fills our attention, captures our emotions, and takes priority in our life? God wants our whole heart, not just the corners or the space left over.

We may talk a good Christian game, but our actions show our heart. What conveniences and comforts are we willing to set aside to pursue Christ?

Make room for Jesus.


Click here to learn more about celebrating Advent with your family this Christmas, including access to a Scripture plan, free downloads and activity ideas. For more on Journey to the Manger, an advent experience from Focus on the Family, visit the Thriving Family website.

Exploring the stable

Jackson and Lauren fill the stable as we read Luke chapter 2.

Jackson and Lauren fill the stable as we read Luke chapter 2.

Christmas Countdown Day 14 focused on the stable. Though Scripture doesn’t use the word “stable” to describe Jesus’ birthplace, it does say Jesus was placed in a manger after he was born, and there was no room for this young family at the local inn. Usually a manger would be found in a stable or barn. Today, we used our senses to explore the stable where Jesus was born. We imagined what we may have seen there, the sounds we would have heard, and what we might have smelled. While we read our Scripture passage in Luke chapter 2, the kids placed the figures in our small nativity and in doing so, placed themselves there too, experiencing what that night could have been like. We made stable ornaments, to help us remember where Jesus was born, and how God provided for them there in the stable.

Our stable ornament

Our stable ornament