Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Can You Save Me?

In case you missed my latest blog the other day  (Click Here To Read It) let me get you up to date.

For the seasons of Advent/Christmas I am doing a blog series on Todd Agnew's Christmas CD Do You See What I See? Each song is from the point of view of a different person in the Christmas story. It is one of my all time favorite Christmas CDs and I want to be share it with all of you.

The next song is called No Room and it is sung by the Inn Keeper and his wife. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a whole video or audio clip. But here is a link to a preview and you should be able to download the song from there:

Today, my roommate and I had a hard time believing that it was already December 1st. It's crazy how time flies isn't it? Then December is one of the months of the year that seems to fly by even faster than usual because of how busy everyone is with the holidays. I know that I have already begun to feel like that. Between Thanksgiving, getting sick and seeing the doctor twice now, helping the local Lutheran high school with their play, getting Advent Dinners together with the youth, and everything else that goes along with the season.... I can feel myself being torn in a hundred different directions. I know I am not the only one.

"While in Bethlehem, she went into labor and gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped the baby in a blanket and laid Him in a feed trough because the inn had no room for them." 
Luke 2:6-7 The Voice

This is all that is said in the gospel of Luke about the Innkeeper. The Bible does not even mention he has a wife or what he said to Mary and Joseph. So we do not have much to go by.

I know that there is some debate about if Mary and Joseph actually went to an "inn" or not. But for the sake of the point of the song, we are going to stick to the "traditional" idea of Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem and trying to get into the town's version of a Super 8.

Sometimes I feel like we judge the inn keeper a bit much. We always talk about how the inn keeper doesn't have room for Jesus and what a terrible thing this is. Which . . . I see where they are coming from. But I think this song gives us a bit more insight to this man.

When I listen to the song "No Room" there is a single word that comes to my mind:  tired. It has a bluesy feel to the song and it opens with a woman speaking to Mary and Joseph. I would say it's safe to say it is the inn keepers wife. And she sounds... tired. I can almost picture her hearing the knock on the door of the inn among the loud noises coming from all of the out of towners inside of the small building she helps her husband run. Mary and Joseph probably would have had to knock several times before she could get there. Then in front of her are two people, and one of them is pregnant. They have nothing to give and are asking for a room. Here is the cry of her and her husband:

Cause I'm sick and tired of working my whole life away. 

Ever feel like that? We work. Work. Work. At home, at school, our jobs, sometimes even our recreational activities feel like work at times. (I am sure everyone who is in the middle of tech week this week can hear me there!) We start to wonder... what is the point of all of this? I have my entire life ahead of me, and all I do is work. When do I get to rest? It's exhausting.

You're needing thing more is knocking at my door. I've got 100 people calling out my name today.

This is the complaint of people everywhere. We've all had those days where it feels as though we are being pulled a million directions and we hope and pray that God will give us an extra hour in the day, or eight arms like an octopus, or even a clone. Then maybe, just maybe, we can get it all done and be available to every single person who needs us. Moms and dads who have to drive the kids everywhere, buy Christmas presents, keep track of 10 schedules, cook dinner, do laundry, on top of their jobs. Students at the end of the semester with teachers piling on the homework, projects, papers, and tests to work on all before the holiday break comes in. Friends are wanting our attention, trying to escape their family or relationship problems, planning Christmas parties. Coaches are demanding more and more practices for the big games coming up. Even at church, I see the office staff running about and working busily trying to get everything accomplished for all of the extra activities and worship services that normally do not happen. Especially at this time of the year, people feel like they just can't stretch themselves anymore.

Cause I can't care no more, and you come needing more when I got nothing.

Caring is exhausting isn't it? When we look at the world and all of the needs even just in our own communities, it's overwhelming. Sometimes we feel like we give, and give, and give, and nothing happens. Or at least we do not see it happening. Even just within our own circle family and friends we pour so much of ourselves into them and just when we think progress is being made... it seems like whoever we are helping takes ten steps backwards. Or even just one. It almost makes us feel like we cannot give any longer . . . and then someone else comes to our door asking for something.

But what happens when you have nothing left to give?

What can you give me? Can you save me?

So then we come to this. We ask "what can you give me?" I have a close friend who in the past has gone through several difficult relationships. It was exhausting and I remember her asking "I am always taking care of them. When do I get to have someone take care of me for a change?" Is asking this selfish at times? Maybe. I am not sure. Because I know God wants us to take care of ourselves, but also give ourselves to others. If we are not being filled ourselves, then it becomes difficult to give to the people around us. So when we are running on empty we ask . . . what can you give me. Can you save me?

We are desperate for saving. Even if we don't want to admit it. I'll be the first to raise my hand when asked who refuses to ask for help. I do it all of the time. I don't want to admit that I need someone to come and pick me up and save me from the mess I'm in. But deep down . . . that is exactly what I want.

Which is the sad part of this song . . . the answer is YES. This baby CAN save you. He WILL save you. Even when we feel like this guy, Jesus still saves us. Even when we feel like 100 people are calling out our name, Jesus still saves. Even when we feel like we are empty and have nothing left to give, Jesus saves.

The problem is . . . we don't always see it. Just like the inn keeper.

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