So, I go to these Christmas plays, and many of them have one villain in the story. In modern times, it could be the surly neighbor, a school bully, unemployment, or a ruthless boss in the same vein as Scrooge. Fortunately, the writers can NEVER leave them mean and cold, because, hey, it's a Christmas story, and it always ends up good! And these characters are sometimes the focal point of the tale and thus, the main tear-jerk-er. (Grammar?)
But when telling the story in Mary and Joseph's day, there is someone who I have seen protrayed over and over in the worst way, and I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!
LEAVE THE INNKEEPER ALONE!!!
While he does not appear in every play, when he does, look out! Hide the kids eyes! He will be a terse, short-tempered individual, who apparently just hated Mary and Joseph and shoo-ed them away with no conscience. I have seen him yell at them, not even open the door to them, talk down to them, and in one play mock them. "Some couple you are, not even married and having a baby. We are full," said as if they had plenty of rooms, but this grisly old curmudgeon was shotblocking their need for shelter...and of course, he SLAMS the door.
But what does the BIBLE say?
Luke 2:7 (Amplified Bible)
"And she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn."
Dude, that is the Amplified version! If you can't find room in the inn in that version, then brother, there was no room!
It doesn't say there was no room because the innkeep was a hairy jerk! Or that he looked at them, saw they were poor then gave them the boot (circa 1988 Innkeeper played by Bill Brewer in our church). I have heard entire sermons on how he rejected Jesus once, and never had another chance.
Really? That's in the Word???
People have made HUGE leaps into melodrama revolving around this character in the story, who first of all is never even mentioned, and who more than likely provided them with the stable!!! Some ancient accounts believe the innkeeper's wife may have been the midwife used by Mary, and that Joseph and Mary lived there until she was well enough to travel.
I don't know! Neither do you.
We don't even know there was an innkeeper. Perhaps there was just a neon sign on the door "No Vacancy"...ever consider that, Holiday Play Writers???
I am tired of all the hate lavished upon this fella when it is clearly stated he had "no room." If he could've accomodated them and didn't, the Bible would have said it...right? Maybe?
If I am ever at your Christmas program at your church, and there is a negative light shown on the innkeeper, I will stand and yell to the top of my lungs "Heresy! Heresy!" until I am given the microphone to voice my opinion on this matter, or I am tackled and removed from the building by the National Guard.
With my luck, when I show up next year to BB's Christmas play at school, he will flip to the darkside and be cast as the innkeep...what then?