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

Innkeeper

Innkeeper

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.

Journey to the Manger: High Priest

Jackson reads the first clue of our Christmas Treasure Hunt:  Let's go on a hunt Treasures wait for you Look under the Christmas tree for your next clue

Jackson reads the first clue of our Christmas Treasure Hunt:
Let’s go on a hunt
Treasures wait for you
Look under the Christmas tree
for your next clue

Today we learned about the High Priest on our Journey to the Manger.

Israel’s High Priest served to show the people the way to God. He gave them God’s instructions on how to live. The High Priest acted as a mediator between God and man, offering sacrifices of atonement to cover the Israelites’ sins. God created this sacrificial system to prepare the people for the perfect sacrifice: His own Son.

Jesus came to be our High Priest and King. He stepped down to connect us back to God. He shed His blood to pay for our sins, and now sits at the right hand of the Father ever making intercession for us.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens–Jesus the Son of God–let us hold fast to the confession.

– Hebrews 4:14

We woke up Jackson and Lauren early this morning for a special treat. To kick-start our Journey to the Manger today, we hid clues throughout the house for a Christmas Treasure Hunt. The kids (and their teddy bears) excitedly ran in their pajamas from clue to clue, following the instructions to find the treasure. Just as the High Priest gave instructions to help the people connect with God, the kids had to follow each step to reach their treasure. Tucked inside their stockings at the end of the hunt were Hershey bars and special take-along cards to remind them of God’s love and presence.

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Jesus is our way to God. He is THE way, THE truth and THE life. He came to personally show us what God expects and how we can live to honor Him. He fulfilled every role of the High Priest, and His complete sacrifice paid for all our sins once and for all!

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.