The following is not original with me and I don’t even know if it is a true story. But whether you’ve heard it before or not, I’m hoping it will make you smile. More than that, though, I’m praying that it will help you think about your relationship with God this Christmas. As the story begins, it’s the most exciting time of the year in a certain little town. Everyone is looking forward to the annual Christmas pageant. It’s a time of anticipation for the children because they are trying out for roles in the Christmas play and everyone wants a part.

Which leads us to the problem of Harold. Harold really wanted to be in the play, but he was a bit too young. The directors were undecided – I mean, they knew Harold would be crushed if he didn’t get a part, but they were afraid he might mess up the town’s magic moment. Finally, they decided to cast Harold as the innkeeper, the one who turns Mary and Joseph away the night Jesus is to be born. He had only one line: “I’m sorry. We have no room.” Well, no one could imagine what that one line was going to do to everyone’s Christmas!

On the night of the pageant the church was packed as usual. The Christmas story unfolded according to plan with angels singing, Joseph dreaming and the trip to Bethlehem. Finally Joseph and Mary arrived at the door of the Bethlehem Inn looking appropriately tired. Joseph knocked on the inn door and Harold was there to open it.

Joseph asked his question on cue, “Do you have a room for the night?” Harold froze. After a long pause, Harold quietly said his line, “I’m sorry. We have no room.” And with a little off-stage coaching, he shut the door. The directors heaved a collective sigh of relief, but as it turned out, it was a bit premature. As Mary and Joseph disappeared into the night, the set suddenly started shaking and the door was flung open! Then, in an unrehearsed moment that folks wouldn’t soon forget, Harold went running after the young couple shouting as loud as he could—“Wait! Don’t go, Joseph. Bring Mary back! You can have MY room!”

I think little Harold may have understood the real meaning of Christmas better than anyone else there that night. How can you leave Jesus outside? You have to make room for Him. And that may be the issue for all of us this Christmas. What will we do with this Son of God who came to earth for us?

Jesus is the One who traded a throne room for a stable and the praise of angels for human mockery. This is the Creator who gave Himself to die on a cross! The Bible gives us the only appropriate response: “The life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Look at what Jesus did to pay for your sin on that cross and say those life-changing words—He “gave Himself for me”.

Jesus is waiting to enter your life. Maybe He’s been waiting for a long time. Maybe He won’t patiently wait much longer. Perhaps recent events have been preparing you for this crossroads moment with Jesus, who wants to be your Lord. Don’t ignore Him. Don’t keep Jesus out of your life any longer. Say with Harold the only real words God wants to hear—“You can have MY room”. You are welcome in my life!