Today in our Relief Society meeting we had a lesson about the life and mission of Jesus Christ, particularly meaningful at this time of the year. We talked about Luke’s choice of words when he did NOT write, “there was no room in the inn” but specifically that “there was no room for them in the inn.” We can’t be certain, but I suppose that if Joseph and Mary had been people of influence or means, they would have found lodging at that busy time of the year. Instead, they were turned away, as many are today.
We know that Mary and Joseph offered a turtle dove at the purification offering after Jesus’s birth. The Law of Moses allowed a turtle dove as a substitute for the required lamb for those who were truly impoverished. I’ve been thinking about Mary and Joseph, who had so very little, wondering at the tender spot Jesus always had in his heart for the poor and those in need. Perhaps, in part, that was an expression of his love for his parents and others in similar circumstances.
Jesus knew their hearts and he knows our hearts. Sometimes it’s hard to see past the trappings to the heart. And sometimes we look right past the poor and those with needs, as if they are invisible. Sometimes we even turn away. Jesus never did. I wish I could be more like Him and see straight into the hearts of others.
(The artwork above is by our local Utah Valley artist, Brian Kershisnik. The original is 17 feet wide, with life-sized angels. A reproduction of this painting, The Nativity, hangs in our living room.)