The innkeeper hears the knock at the door. The long awaited guest has arrived. He comes every year. Quietly he knocks and waits to be invited in.
The innkeeper rushes to the door, opening wide while the wind rushes in. He hugs the guest, takes his coat and welcomes him inside.
“Please make yourself at home. We are busy preparing for you. And we are so excited you have come.”
The guest takes in the sights and sounds. Enticing scents invite him in further. He listens to the excited chatter of the guests around him. Guests here to honor him. They are all busy hustling about. Decorations are underway, preparations are being made.
The air is festive and bright. Joy abounds around him.
The guests know he is there. This is all for him. And he waits. They move all around him, but few stop to chat. The celebrations swirl around him, for him. A few pass by with sweet words tossed here and there. “So glad you are here. What a joyous occasion. We will be with you soon. There is still a bit to do before we can celebrate with you.”
He sits by the fire in the parlor. He waits for the guests to join him. His eyes are transfixed on the dancing flames while the background noise rises and falls.
He would love to sit and chat for hours with these guests. He has come for them. They will come, he tells himself. He realizes they are excited and caught up in their own excitement over him- they have busied themselves.
He wonders if they will be too tired to visit with him after all their setting up is complete. He hopes not. And he waits. He has so much he wishes to share. He hopes they will have time with him. He continues watching the fire.
He watches the clock above the dancing flames. The hands move slowly as he watches each second tick by. The clock tells a time that signals the night has come to an end. He moves away from the warmth of the fire where he sat all evening hoping to share stories with the guests and engage in their excitement. It’s ok, he tells himself. This is all because they love me and are excited to celebrate my arrival with me tomorrow. Off to bed he goes.
The other guests and the innkeeper retire to their rooms exhausted. Tomorrow we will celebrate they all say.
A new day dawns. The guest rises eager to spend time with the other guests he’s come to see. Preparations should be complete, now they will be ready to celebrate.
The fire in the parlor is growing in intensity. He takes residence in the same spot he secured the night before, watching the flames- waiting.
The guests begin to file down the stairs. The chatter begins again. The festivities are underway. He overhears their conversations. They are speaking of him. Yet few stop to speak to Him. They talk of him and around him- and he waits.
His heart feels heavy as he longs for these people. To share in their stories, to share in their festivities and laughter.
The evening draws to a close and the guest makes his way upstairs. There was room for him at the inn that night but no space in their hearts to sit with him.
As he lay in bed reflecting he knew they loved him and had come for him. He only wished they realized he didn’t need all the effort that went into the celebration. He only wanted them.
He understands. He’s patient and humble.
He waits. Because He loves them.
Seeking Christmas is a guide for families to the One who came for each of us. It’s a simple devotion, filled with simple activities and traditions that celebrates a simple, yet profound message. It offers your family a unique Christmas experience centered around what truly matters in life and in this season. If you have purchased a copy, thank you. I’ve been praying for years for you and would love to hear from you after your family seeks Christmas together this year. Merry Christmas!