God shows no partiality… Romans 2:11
Years ago, in a bustling town on a wintry night, there was a young couple of humble means traveling and needing a place to eat and sleep for the night. The young man stopped at several establishments and knocked on doors, tirelessly explaining his situation; the owners’ hands were tied. In those times, they had no choice but to refuse him. Finally, a compassionate owner sent him to the back of the building to purchase food of questionable quality. He returned to his wife with the bounty. As the family ate, he realized there would be no lodging accommodations on this journey. There was no room in people’s hearts. This night the car would be their inn.
This man was my father.
As my brother and I ate in the back seat, our preschool minds were oblivious to the despairing heart that my dad shared with us years later.
If your heart were an inn, would there be room to receive someone who is different from you; someone that your environment may have taught you to reject? Despite your culture, despite your family, despite your friends’ quizzical looks, would you open your heart like the Good Samaritan? Jesus’ humble birth reminds us that even for His son, God does not show partiality (Romans 2:11), so neither should we. Jesus is calling us to invite all people in, to a place of loving warmth, hospitality, and peaceful rest.