Christmas shows us the need to receive others …

The human brain is so incredible that we can make vital judgments in microseconds. That’s what happens when we swerve to miss from having an accident or catch an object hurled at us.

It’s also what happens when we look at someone and immediately make a judgment about them based upon only what we see in an instant.

While the first reactions may be life saving, the second often result in bad decisions and wrong impressions. And when it comes to sizing up someone incorrectly, no one could have gotten it more wrong than Bethlehem’s innkeeper.

Imagine peering out the peek-hole of your front door and seeing a strange man standing there with a teenager who was very noticeably pregnant.

Would you answer the door?

Apparently this guy finally did, only to tell the strangers there was no room for them. But there was a problem …

“And while they were there, the time came for her [Mary’s] baby to be born,” Luke 2:6.

You would have to have a heart of stone to completely turn away a teenage girl who was in labor. You couldn’t send her to a hospital because there was no such thing. She needed help, and she needed off her feet.

But to understand just how cold morals were at the time of Jesus’ birth, the most that was offered to Mary and Joseph was a little space in a stable, which some believe may have actually been a cave where animals were kept. Either way, it’s not showing much concern for a woman giving birth to a child. Yet, I think at the moment this young couple were happy to get what they got.

The innkeeper responded to these strangers at his door much the same way we respond to unexpected visitors at ours. We tend to react to what we think intruders are going to do to our circumstances rather than considering what God may do, through them, with our lives.

Such snap decisions are often bad ones. Even scripture warns us about them …

“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” Hebrews 13:2

In this case, it wasn’t an angel, it was the very Son of God!

How would your life change if you welcomed those who knocked at the door of your home — or life — as if God had sent them with a purpose? That purpose may be for you to serve and be a blessing to them, or He may have sent them to be a blessing to you. Or both!

There’s only one way to find out.