The Bethlehem Keeper – A Short Inspirational Christmas Story

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What could be done? The Inn was full of folk: His Honor Marcus Lucius, and his scribes who made the census; honorable men from farthest Galilee came hitherward to be enrolled. High ladies and their lords; the rich, the rabbis, such a noble thing as Bethlehem had not seen before, and may not see again. And there they were, close herded with their ser- vants, till the inn was like a hive at swarming time, and I was fairly crazed among them.

That they were so important–just the two–no servants, just a workman sort of man, leading a donkey, and his wife thereon, drooping and pale. I saw them not myself. My servants must have driven them away. But had I seen them, how was I to know’.’ Were inns to welcome stragglers, up and down in all our towns from Beersheba to Dan, till He should come? And how were men to know? ‘There was a sign, they say, a heavenly light resplendent; but I had no time for stars. And there were songs of angels in the air out on the hills. But how was I to hear amid the thousand clamors of an inn? Of course, had I known then who they were, and who was He that should be born that night–for now I learn that they will make Him King, a second David who will ransom us from these Philistine Romans. Who but He that feeds an army with a loaf of bread, and if the soldier falls He touches him, and up he leaps uninjured! Had I known, I would have turned the whole inn upside down–His Honor Marcus Lucius, and the rest, and sent them all
to stables–had I known.

So you have seen Him, stranger, and perhaps again will see Him. Please say for me I did not know; and if He comes again, as He will surely come, with retinue and banners, and an army, tell my Lord that all my inn is His, to make amends.

Alas, alas! to miss a chance like that! This inn that might be chief among them all, this birthplace of Messiah-had I known !

– Amos K. Wells

For more short Inspirational Christmas stories, visit


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