Thursday, December 25, 2014

Hospitality on Christmas

We went to a non-Christian country during the holiday season. There was a holiday spirit but not necessarily a Christmas celebration. People were coming from different places to have a vacation. We looked for a place where we feel welcome as visitors. But no one bothered. Everybody was too busy with their own stuff. Everybody was settled in their own comfortable places. We stayed in a backpackers inn as there were no more available hotels during this time.

It was quite an experience going to our inn. We had to walk for almost a kilometer from the nearest train station before we could reach the place. We walked carrying four big luggage plus our backpacks while tagging along 3 kids and walking on sore foot and broken ankle. When we reached the inn, the inn was full. We had to wait until late in the afternoon because the room still needs cleaning and the previous room occupant has not yet checked out. So we had to wait in the crowded lobby - standing. It was really a tiring but learning experience for me.

Our Christmas vacation made me reflect on the story of Mary and Joseph as they were traveling to Bethlehem and were looking for an inn that night. All the inn was full. Maybe they were as tired as we were, NO, much more tired as they had to walk and ride the donkey while we rode the bus and train. They had to walk for several kilometers while we only did one. We were fortunate to find an inn, although we needed to wait before we could settle in, but Mary and Joseph had no room for an inn. And so they settled for the manger. Our Christmas story this year was quite an experience that will change my perspective of the merry making holidays. Hospitality takes on a whole new meaning. The Christmas story of Mary and Joseph and the unborn baby changed the world. Do we have a room for them in our hearts?

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