Christmas: The King Has Come

Devotional

Innkeeper: Compassion

Read today's verse.

We don’t know much about the innkeeper. All we really know is that, likely due to the census that had been issued by the Roman Empire, his inn had no vacancies. Of course, inns during the first century were not like going to your local Hilton, and more closely resembled a house with an upper room or shelter of some sort. Regardless, there was no vacancy, so this innkeeper showed compassion towards a seemingly ordinary couple in need. The truth is this innkeeper didn’t need to give Mary and Joseph any accommodation. But, we can connect the dots and see how the Holy Spirit might have been working in his heart.

Imagine yourself in this same situation: It’s the holidays and you are quite busy with planning, buying gifts, and cooking a spectacular Christmas Eve dinner. So much to do, so little time. After all, it’s the most hectic and busiest time of the year! You may even have houseguests from out of town. But, suddenly you hear a knock at the door. When you open it, you see a sweet couple in need; the young wife is nine-months pregnant and on the threshold of labor, the husband worn and weary from an arduous journey . . . What would you do? Would you send them away or welcome them in?

You see, the Christmas story is all about compassion. This special season is the perfect time to celebrate and reflect on the compassion of the Lord, who knew our grave need and sent His Son to rescue us. Compassion was a quality that Jesus so often exhibited with those whom He encountered, from the hungry multitudes to the blind and lame. He told parables about showing compassion and preached sermons about going the extra mile for a brother in need. Taking it a step further, the Book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus is a King who sympathizes with us in everything, because He endured everything for us!

While often, the spotlight of Christmas shines on what presents we will receive or what we have to buy for someone, the truth is there’s no greater gift we can give than to show the compassion of Christ.

We don’t know much about this innkeeper; we don’t even know his name. But he will be remembered forever because he had compassion on someone in need. Even in the midst of the busiest time of the year for him, this person found a way to make room for someone in need. And in doing so, he provided a birthplace for the King of Kings. Show that kind of grace and compassion this Christmas season . . . no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, because you never know the mark it will make on this world.

For The Kids: Do You Have Compassion?

The Innkeeper was nice and showed compassion to Mary and Joseph. That means he put himself in their shoes and saw that they needed help, so he was kind to them. Though his house was full, he prepared a place for them in the barn. God does the same thing with us. God saw that we were lost without Him, so He sent Jesus to save us and bring us home to Him.

Christmas is all about showing compassion to others; to our friends and classmates, to our neighbors, to our teachers, to the poor, to the hungry man or woman on the side of the road. Remember to show compassion today like the innkeeper did . . . like God does for us every day.

Today's Challenge

Share a verse, pray with, listen to, or hug someone who is having a bad day or difficult time.