TIME OUT WITH LOIS: We’ve all been ‘one of them’ at some time

“There was no room in the inn.” 

We hear that phrase over and over in songs and Christmas programs. We can even see the scene in our minds. A narrow street, bits of light from the flames of torches. A docile donkey, perhaps with a blanket spread on his back for the comfort of the pregnant mother he has carried. We see the stable and the animals. A donkey, a cow and some sheep.  

Lois Olmstead


Then the people. Maybe the inn keeper has a robe of purple and a white turban wound around his head. Joseph may be in a brown or tan coarsely woven tunic of wool. Mary’s in blue, the blue of Wedgewood china or the deep blue of ocean depths.

How we see the people depends on our experiences. Because of my Sunday School and country school Christmas programs, I find it hard not to see the folks of that first Christmas clad in bathrobes. Some with stripes, some muted shades of brown, long with belts tied tightly to keep the shepherds from tripping on them.

No room at the inn. Wait, though. There is more to this Christmas story. “Something new?” you say, “What could be new in this oldest of old stories we know so well?”

OK, maybe you know this. So let some of the donkey’s patience rub off on you while I tell the others what I learned. You might want to get your Bible so you can look for yourself. It is in Luke chapter 2, verse 7.

It says, “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; for there was no room for them in the inn.”

One Christmas, my friend Lonnie Howell brought this to my attention. He said, “Lois, did you get this?” I sat there until he read it again with this emphasis, “for there was no room ‘for them’ in the inn.”

Get it? No room for them. For them. Think about it as Lonnie did. It does not say, “There was no room in the inn.” There was no room “for them.” He mentioned how many people could have been relatives of Mary and Joseph, or friends, or neighbors. Surely Mary being pregnant and not married was the talk of the town. And these folks had to come to Bethlehem just like Mary and Joseph to be taxed. None of these would make sure that young Mary had a place to stay? In her condition? No room? For them?

Even there, in the hours before He was born into a human body, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, the babe Jesus, was controversial? It could be. Is it any wonder He came to be the champion of sinners like me? That He would love the downtrodden, the misunderstood, the weak, the mourning, the lonely?

Haven’t we all been “one of them” at some time in our lives? The misfit, the scorned, the one who set the tongues of gossipers a flying? Or worse yet — haven’t we at times in our lives been the ones whose tongues were proclaiming it is “one of them?”

People do wrong things. People do sinful things. But the message of Jesus is that He came to set the captives free! “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” A Savior who saves people from their sins. Read in your Bible, where John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and will forgive our sins.”

I know you can trust Jesus as you confess your needs to Him as well. It will be your very best Christmas gift ever, my friends, to know how much God loves you!


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lois Olmstead is an inspirational speaker and author who lives in the Shields Valley. Email her at loiso@wispwest.net or visit www.timeoutwithlois.com.