Christmas seems a long way off, but don’t blink. It’s the famed story of the Inn keeper who had no room for Mary and Joseph that led them to a barn, aka, manger. “No room for the Christ-child” has become a seasonal message when in reality it should be the daily subject of a robust economy that features the rat-race. Each hour seems to be pinched. Days run into weeks until a year passes before we pause to consider developing a prayer life or family devotion. There’s just no room left for the Lord to enter our lives outside of the confinements we’ve set on Sunday.
In its conception, pentecostalism was once considered an experience; not a denomination. However, the harried pace of our society demanded that we move the experience indoors so not to interrupt our own very busy lifestyles. The result was “no room” in the Inn. The Inn is clearly painted as our personal ambition. The Christ-child is the Born Again experience that once dominated our conversation.
The early church was not a “faith” as it is defined today. It was a movement that could not be contained by politics, or governments, or even church buildings. Denominations, on the other hand, put boundaries around the experience so that we could manage Him by convenience. Church buildings became the place where we could find God without ever really seeking for Him. Our “experience” became regulated via time frames of the worship services and by organizational rules. The problem is that we lost the power and the sound of a mighty rushing wind. Miracles trailed off also as we developed healing revivals and special meetings designed for the sick. These things once followed the daily lives of the early church. There were no specialists brought in for a miracle service. Sure, we have great programs, but the outpouring of the Holy Ghost is rarely experienced in our homes. Private lives have somehow separated us from the Glory of God.
I submit that we need to return to an in-home revival where prayer, Bible reading, meditation, and devotions occur on a regular basis. Of course, it means that we will have to turn off all the media for a moment. If not, then we will be current on world affairs and have our fill of entertainment, but there will be no moving of the Spirit.
Jesus doesn’t have much room to be Himself outside of our planned song set. Fortunately though, Christmas is coming and we get to talk about Mary and Joseph and that awful Inn keeper who turned them away.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole