The knock came at the door of the inn. It was late. We can imagine the innkeeper had been burning both ends of the candle. The census crowd had packed Bethlehem and he had finally locked the doors for the night. Until the knock. He shuffled his feet through the dark and made his way to the door. Opening it with the slightest of cracks, he peered out to see a young couple. Looking more closely, he saw a young woman who was about to give birth to a child. Rooms were full. It was late. And they didn’t look very special. He had to decide whether he would find room for them or not.
And you will too. John’s rendition of the birth of Christ comes in a few short words: “The Word (logos) became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14). Greek hearers understood the word logos as the representation of God. The essence of God was found in his Word. Hebrew readers perked up to John’s message too. John writes: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” He book-ends the first sentence of his book with the phrase “In the beginning.” They knew it as the words that began the first book of the Torah, or Genesis.
John writes about beginnings. John writes about God’s very representation dwelling among us. And he writes to tell us that we have the same decision to make as the innkeeper. Will we find a place for Jesus in our lives or will we send him away?
Some send him away because he looks too plain. Nothing special about him. Don’t make that mistake. He comes to common places like your home and common places like your heart. Some send him away because life is crowded. Many demands and many deadlines. And you’re not sure if you have room for him. But he only comes to give you what he has already done. He desires to give you forgiveness. And some send him away because they think it’s too late. They’ve already done too much that can’t be forgiven.
But it’s never too late. Not with the one who comes and makes his dwelling among us. You need only to open the door.