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Next Door to the Inn – on Christmas Eve


Without doubt, Mary wouldn’t have been the only prospective mother arriving in Bethlehem during this special time of the taxing proclamation at the command of Caesar.

Bethlehem was filled with roaming crowds of moving people having come to register. Living next door to the Inn, one was aware of people seeking shelter for the night, but why all the excitement at this particular place. The couple had come to the Inn early in the evening but Jacob and his wife had no more vacancies. It was easy to see that the prospective mother was in desperate need, so Jacob’s wife, Rachel, suggested that they fix a place in the shelter that housed some of their animals. The needy couple accepted it. Rachel was a kind woman and helped them settle in as comfortably as possible. The servants at the stable were helpful too. They brought fresh straw and covered it with a clean blanket. Lanterns were brought in to be able to see, as needed. They could already tell that this night was going to be different, but had no idea what the coming hours would bring.

Joseph and Mary had settled down and were thanking God for this provision for the night. Then the hours brought change. Joseph called Rachel for help and in a little while, Mary was holding her Baby in her arms and placed him in the manger.

They had barely gotten quieted down when a group of roughly dressed men appeared. They were excited in their speech and could hardly explain why they were there. They were looking for a Baby in a manger!! How did they know about this Baby. “You’ll hardly believe it” they said. “We were resting and watching our sheep, when the night sky became bright, then brighter…brilliant!! A great host of Angels appeared in the sky and sang to us. We were very frightened. Then they told us about the Baby that was born in Bethlehem. They said, “Don’t be afraid, we bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ Jesus the Lord. This shall be a sign for you, you will find the Babe, lying in a manger. We decided to come at once and see this miraculous thing that has just happened. May we see him?” Mary and Joseph were amazed.

When the shepherds left to return to their sheep, they spread the news by telling every one they met, what they had just seen and experienced. “We never heard or saw anything like this ever before…we’ll never forget the glorious sight or song of that Angel choir.” The servants at the animal shelter were shaken even more than the shepherds. WHO is this couple and baby that we are caring for? Questions topped every conversation !!

Living next door to the Inn was always interesting, but never was there a night like this one. What a privilege to be a witness at the very time Jesus entered this planet, in the form of human flesh !


from the Kneehole desk of
Elsie Yyoung


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