Institutional First Baptist Church Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.
Delivered On
December 22, 2013 at 10:45 AM
Subject
Any Room for Jesue?
Attached Document
Open Document
Description
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr.

Sunday December 22, 2013

 

Any Room for Jesus?
“...laid him in a manger because there was no room in the In...”. Luke 2:7.
This is the Fourth Sunday in Advent of 2013. It
embraces the celebrated birth of Christ on Wednesday
of this week. Numerous are the plans, activities, events,
parades, musicals, meals, gifts, and telecommunications,
pictures - all initiated by this event of Christmas. This
annual events elicits responses across a continuum
ranging from joy and ecstacy to lamentation and
reminiscence. Although no widely traveled as the
Thanksgiving weekend, Christmas does, nonetheless,
necessitate some travel. Such was the case with
Joseph and Mary centuries ago when they from Galilee
to Judea - not for Christmas - but to pay taxes imposed
by Caesar Augustus ( Luke 2:1-4 ). Much to their dismay,
they could find no room at the inn. Although many Centuries
have passed, this sermon for Christmas 2013 is predicated
to the assumption that current humanity has little, if any,
room for Jesus. Hence, it has been entitled, Do you have
room for Jesus? It will include the following dimensions,
namely: Bethlehem during the early New Testament Era,
accommodation in contemporary times, domestic
architecture in recent times, and does your lifestyle have
no room for Jesus?
Omitting the traditional historical context for the
sermon, the focus will, instead, focus on the inn during
early New Testament times. The word, inn, referred to a
resting place for caravans, religious travelers, and others
who may be traveling in a small group, or even an
individual. The Inn was a forerunner of the hotel and
motel found so numerously throughout most of the world.
Because many caravans included horses and cows, the
Inn was designed for the rest of both people and their
animals. As the people rested in the inn, their animals
rested in the stable which was a large partially enclosed
area that was heavily covered with straw. It contained
a trough or an open box in which feed for livestock is
placed. That structure was known as a manger, the title
was derived from an old French word that denoted a place
from which to eat. To accommodate guests when the Inn
was filled, the hut like structure contained a section
in which travelers could sleep therein. Apparently, the inn
in Bethlehem was crowded with emigrants because Joseph
and Mary could find no accommodations at the inn. They,
therefore, had to join many members of the caravan who
were taking rest in the stall where a section was set aside
travelers. Luke records that Joseph and Mary slept in the
stall since there was no room for them at the inn. He, also,
noted that “...while they were there, the days were
accomplished that she should be delivered and “she brought
forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling
clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no
room for them in the inn. ( Luke 2:7). Within the many
songs centered on the Christmas season is one that
emphasizes the closeness of Joseph and Mary to animals
in the stall; it is entitled Away In A Manger. Within that
song are the words, “ The cattle are lowing, the Babe
awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes...”.
Since that time, the baby Jesus grew strong, filled with
wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him. ( Lk. 2:40 ).
At age 30 he commenced his ministry and therein Jesus
made provision for any believer to communicate with
the Father though the Holy Ghost. Although that glorious
provision was a divine gift from Jesus, it is an unfortunate
fact too few individuals, like the inn of his time, have no
room for Jesus.
Although no record is available as to whether the inn
keeper made any attempt to accommodate Joseph and
Mary, just think of the honor and prestige that would have
accrued to him as having made room for Jesus. This missed
opportunity leads to the second dimension of this sermon
which is - accommodations in contemporary times. Whereas
the inns in early New Testament times few and far between,
those facilities in contemporary times are almost
innumerable; they are located in small towns, within cities
of varying size, in shopping malls, along the Interstate
highways, and various places throughout the world. Whereas
the Inns during the time of Jesus provided no extra services
other than the Stall with the manger, the contemporary
facilities are filled with an array of amenities. It is interest
to note that while Joseph and Mary could find no room at
the inn, the contemporary facilities all have a Bible in the
rooms. It is of interest to speculate the origin and purpose
of this practice. Might it be a divine act to remind the
travelers of their blessings and, concurrently, make room
for Jesus or whoever is the religious Deity while traveling
in an environment so superior to the time of Jesus?
This hypothetical question leads to the third aspect of
this sermon which is - domestic architecture in
contemporary times. Since the later 18th Century, there has
existed the practice of including a guest bed room. In the
situation of limited financial resources, one of the bed
rooms, even in a two bed room house, was generally
understood to be used in case of an overnight guest. Even
in a small house, the occupant extended the courtesy of
making room a guest. Fast forwarding to the 21st Century,
owner designed homes and, especially existing commercial
homes are constructed with a guest room. Generally, that
room is located away from the main flow of the family
members. The room has an array of amenities, some of
which are: an entertainment studio, a wall mounted tv,
a telephone, a newsstand with current magazines, a
maybe a small beverage stand. But what is sadly missing
in most cases is a copy of the Bible. Such is omission may
well symbolize that the host family has room for a guest
but no room for Jesus. Ironically, both the resident(s) and
the guest are committing a fatal mistake in excluding
Jesus from their life because Jesus said, “I am the way,
the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but
by me” ( John 14:6 ). Since that assertion is without error
and eternal, the closing focus of this sermon will address
the question - do you have room for Jesus in your life?
The answer must be more than rhetoric, or just talk;
instead it must have an inner conviction that Jesus is
Lord and Savior. This conviction leads to the act of
believing in the heart that “...God raised him ( Jesus )
from the dead, thou shall be saved” ( Rom.10:9 ).
Having accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, the
resulting question becomes where does room need to made
for Jesus in the life of a believer? It is herein submitted that
there are several areas in which room for Jesus is needed
the believer’s life. A partial listing includes: the physical
body - described in the Bible is a temple; the mind - that,
according to Bible, should be the same as Jesus’; actions -
anchored in the Golden Rule, Employment - respect those
who are in authority as sanctioned in the Bible, Family -
love and respect for the members, a biblical norm, and
in your bedroom -before retiring for the night or arising in
the morning. So in closing, this sermon for Christmas
2013 ends with an appeal to each hearer or reader to
always make room for Jesus in your life. By so doing,
at the end of life he will bid you in with the words,
“ Well done, Good and Faithful servant...”. (Mt. 25:23). Amen!
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