Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Tradition: No Room Go Away!

One of my personal Christmas traditions is to tell my favorite Christmas story about an Innkeeper named Wally.  At the church I pastored back in Indiana I would tell it each year at our Christmas Dinner Theater performances.  At the church I pastored back in Pennsylvania I would tell it each year at our Christmas Eve services.  Here at the church I currently pastor in Michigan I have decided to keep the tradition going by telling the story in a different venue each year.  Last year I told it on my live radio program and at our Christmas Eve services.  This year I told it at a presentation my wife and I gave to the MOPS group that meets at our church.  I love this story and I love to tell it.  Below you can read an abbreviated account of the story.  Merry Christmas!

It was Mrs. Johnson’s second graders turn to do the town’s Christmas play. Mrs. Johnson had just one problem. It was Wally. Wally was big for his age and he had been held back twice in school. As a result, he was larger then any other second grader and the clumsiest of them all. Wally had his heart set on being a shepherd in the Christmas play but Mrs. Johnson could not give such an important role to Wally. So instead she came up with a brilliant idea.

“Wally,” she said, “I have just the part for you. I would like you to be the innkeeper. All you have to do is open the door when Joseph knocks and respond firmly with the words, ‘no room…go away.’ Can you do that Wally?”

Wally practiced it a few times to Mrs. Johnson’s delight. Her planned seemed to be working perfectly. Wally would be involved but not in a critical role. For the next several weeks, Wally practiced his lines everywhere he went. You could see his lips constantly moving as he uttered his lines, ‘no room…go away.’

Finally the night of the big event came. As in past years, the entire town shut down and everyone piled into the school auditorium to watch the second graders put on their show. Mrs. Johnson was nervous but felt she had everything well under control.

At last, Wally’s big cue came. Joseph and Mary slowly and sadly walked up to the inn and Joseph knocked on the door.

‘No room…go away,’ Wally said as he answered the knock.

‘But sir,’ Joseph pleaded.

‘No room…go away,’ Wally firmly replied.

‘But my wife,’ Joseph continued, ‘She’s pregnant and going to have a baby any time?’

‘No room,’ Wally insisted, ‘Go away!’

Right on cue, Joseph and Mary began to walk away from the inn. Mrs. Johnson’s heart skipped a beat. Wally was supposed to close the door and he would be done. But Wally just stood there, watching the homeless couple as they walked away from the inn.

What happened next changed the town’s Christmas play drastically. Some people say it was ruined. Others say it was the best Christmas pageant ever. With tears running down his cheeks, Wally cried out,

‘Joseph, Mary, wait! Come back! You can have my room!’


Glen said...

Always a great story to hear... I love it all except your opening paragraph, 6th line down, 6th word in. :-( I'm good for another 30-years and I want you to go through one of my Bibles :-)

Alisa said...

I get it, maybe :) Anyone who knows Scott knows that upon someone's departure from this earth, he reads their Bible before doing their service. Even though he was our pastor in Indiana, my husband and I have said at the moment God chooses to give us eternity, our prayer is that Pastor Scott, Lord Willing, will be available to read our Bibles. Now let me Just say that if this is not what you meant, I am remind of a time when we all sat in a meeting that the movie Princess Bride was being discussed when I mentioned, "I just don't get it" Pastor Scott's reply, "Somehow that doesn't surprise me, Alisa" :)God bless you, Glen. I am thankful that God has carried Scott's ministry to the different locations since Indiana, I am a life that was changed and am so blessed to know he is changing lives out of his obedience to Christ.
Have a Merry Christmas Scott and Laura! I love you both!

Pastor Scott said...

Glen and Alisa! Thanks so much for you kind and encouraging words. Reading them may be some of the best Christmas presents one could ever open! Blessings!

Glen said...

Alisa, you did get it on the Bible... The word "current" sounds to temporary... we would like to have him just plan on being here til the Lord comes...

Pastor Scott said...

The usage of the word "currently" was not meant to communicate anything regrading longevity. Believe me when I say, we would love to be here in Gaylord until retirement (at the age of 49 - just kidding!)!