Posts Tagged ‘Alan Wilson’


I was about to write my annual Christmas No Room at the Inn story, but Alan Wilson beat me to it – so I’m just going to re-blog his excellent contribution to this great debate. He has entitled this year’s offering The case of the innkeeper: a Christmas conundrum. It’s a good read!

Here follows a few taster extracts, then the crux of his blog – and at the end some links to my past annual efforts.

Alan’s start:

A few years ago I saw an interview with a couple of people who write nativity plays – there’s one with a couple of pizza delivery boys! It’s a great way to include lots of kids, I guess, and it helps to freshen up the old story a bit – if you think it needs freshened up!

Which raises the question of another character – often featured – who possibly does not actually belong in the story. I don’t mean Father Christmas, or David Beckham, or Wayne Rooney, or any other modern day celebrity.

This is one we might even hear preached about in sermons. I know, I have preached about him.

He’s about to talk about the innkeeper, of course!

But what if the reason that there is no mention of an innkeeper is because the story doesn’t even have an inn?

And right now you are scrambling around in your memory because you know what the Bible says. Not sure if it’s Matthew or Luke, but you’re sure it’s there somewhere.

What you are looking for is Luke 2:7 – And she gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.

So there it is. An inn. If there was an inn, there must have been an innkeeper.

Alan continues and flirts with heresy! But his conclusion establishes his undoubted reputation as a solid evangelical Baptist on whose words one can have absolute confidence – otherwise he wouldn’t be a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators UK & Ireland‘s Northern Ireland council, would he?

But before you run me out of town as a heretic, can I remind you that the point remains, and it is this:

When the Son of God came into the world, it was not to a palace, much less a private hospital. He was born in a place that hardly had room for him. His first sleep was surrounded by the smells of animals as he lay in a feeding trough.

And – as a glance at Mark 10 or Philippians 2 reminds us – it was only the beginning. He took on our humanity in its weakest, most vulnerable and most dependent form. He lived as a servant, obedient to his Father with an obedience that went as far as death – even the utter humiliation of death on a cross.

There is still room for us to get onto our knees by the manger.

And we also need to realise that while both the incarnation and the death of Jesus are unique events, fundamental to our salvation, they also serve to challenge us about how we live. There is no room for self-centred arrogance among the servants of the Servant King.

My past blogs on this topic can be found here, here and here.

I wish a happy and peaceful and blessed celebration of Christ’s birth to all my readers!

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