A young girl in the late 1920’s writes about her experiences travelling through China with her missionary parents. She recalls as she writes about those trips– the crowded places where they stayed overnight. The village inns, full of people, coughing, sneezing, smoking, while babies cried and children complained. Often her family put their bedrolls on board covered trestles in a large room with everyone else.
Except one night– it was a cold night and when they arrived at the inn it was packed full. The innkeeper expressed his regret—no room available but then said, ‘Follow me’ . He led them to a side room used to store straw and farm equipment– now they had a quiet place to rest on their own.
Looking back on that experience she says that afterwards whenever she read about Mary bringing her son into the world and laying him in a manger she saw the event differently. Their innkeeper was the arranger for a healthier, quieter place than the crowded village inn – a place with some privacy.
When we look at the Christmas story we can see too God’s provision for Joseph, Mary and the birth of their child Jesus.
But also Christmas is about God’s provision for you and me– of God coming into our world through the human birth of his son. He was and is God’s gift to you and me this Christmas– why not start your celebrations this year by thanking God for Jesus?
Rev Victor Howlett