Sunday, December 25, 2005

No Room in the Church

One of the most prominent characters in the Christmas story is the innkeeper who had no room for Joseph and Mary in his inn. Over the ages, the innkeeper has been one of the villains of the Christmas story and grouped into the same lot as Herod who sought to destroy the Christ child. Each time the story is retold, it is hard to believe that the innkeeper wouldn’t make room in his inn for a pregnant woman and her soon to be born Child. In the Christmas story, the innkeeper put money, greed, maybe family, his own comfort or some bureaucrat ahead of the King of kings.

Yet this Christmas we find the story is once again repeated with many churches cancelling their Christmas Day services. In the name of spending time with family and letting their people spend this holiday day with others, these places of worship have also put out an “No Room in the Church” sign for the soon coming Lord. On a day when people of the Lord ought to be putting their Redeemer first, they are putting a “day off,” a day with family, and a day away from their place of worship ahead of the Holy One who came in the form of man to save all mankind from their sins. By closing their doors they are making a bold and loud statement of who is their first love. Christ said that if He be lifted up all man will be drawn to Him.

Many people will find it hard to believe that these events are happening on one the holy days of the years, yet they themselves will also join in the chorus of the “Oh, Stay at Home, All Ye Unfaithful” by practicing their same habit of honoring everyone but the Lord on His day. Fifty-two times a year many Christians cast their vote against the Lord, His church, and the edifying of other believers by planning each Holy Sunday around the things and works of man and once again forsaking the assembling of themselves together. Not only is Christmas Day a special day, but each Sunday is a sacred day in which we testify to the whole world, our (lost) family, neighbors, friends, and co-workers who we value the most. The Bible says that we are an epistle that many know and read of men. I have never seen lost family and friends come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior through the testimony of a believing friend or family member that was lukewarm in their devotion to the Savior. Even though others may not understand fully our passion to the Lord, our actions speak louder than words.

This Christmas will we have room in our lives for Christ and as we prepare to start the New Year, will Christ receive our supreme devotion and service? God has given us His best, why don’t we give Him our best also.

Gary L. Berry - Sr. Pastor
Southland Baptist Church
Belton, Mo


Anonymous Sis. Julie said...

Amen Bro. Jim. I was absolutely shocked at the amount of "churches" that didn't even have services today. You are right about it making a bold statement. We had families in our church that CHOSE to stay at home and spend time with family today instead of honoring the One Who they claim saved them and has given them a home in Heaven. I'm not saying they are not saved...I'm just saying they are saying that He isn't important enough in their lives that they couldn't even come to church on one of the most precious days of the year.

Hope y'alls Christmas was a wonderful one. Ours certainly was!! Count your many them one by would take me all day and then some to name them all. And that would just be today's blessings.

11:29 PM  

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