I Was Just Thinking…

Published on Apr 4th, 2018 by wpd-office | 0

Doors, gates, entryways, entrances—I have been thinking about all of these since reading one of my latest issues of Christian Century.  The issue simply has “Doors” on the front cover.  Inside there were inspiring stories that people told about the influence of doors in their lives.  Some doors were slammed in faces.  Some doors were opened to family and friends and neighbors.  Some doors were opened even to enemies, and in some cases, they became friends.  Some were house doors.  Some were church doors.  Some were school doors.  Some were government doors.  Some doors welcomed people.  Some doors became barriers to people. I also believe that some of the other names I gave these openings are applicable.  There are painted doors.  There are wooden doors.  There are tents who have flaps.  There are even tents with simply an open space.  There are heavy doors.  There are doors that swing open easily.  There are doors that require a code to go through–I get those as I visit in nursing homes!  Doors, doors, doors!

I am reminded of the door that was mentioned in the Bible.  Jesus said, “I stand at the door and knock.  When anyone opens the door to me, I will come in and will eat with that person.”   Within that image stands many things that could be said about doors.  First of all, Jesus did not just barge in.  Jesus did not even use his powers to just come through the door unannounced.  Jesus is knocking.  Jesus is requesting permission to come in.  This says to me that Jesus first of all respects our privacy and our need to admit only those who wish us well.  If we, willy-nilly, open the doors of our home to anyone who comes, we may let in those who do not have our best interests at heart.  Yet, are there those who may not be as kind as we might wish, but perhaps they, somewhere in their hearts, need a place, need a home, even need some of what we might have.  I have friends who never lock their doors, and when I asked why, they said that, if someone needs something they have, especially more than they need it, they would be glad for that person to have it!!  Quite a philosophy!!  On the other hand, we all do need a measure of privacy, and the closed door can give us that measure.  Jesus knocks, and it is up to us to let him in; incumbent on us is not to slam the door in his face!
Next, if we let Jesus in, we will be changed forever.  What Jesus brings into our doors is his teaching, his healing, his grace, and his love.  Each one of those things will bring us new life and new outlooks!  If Jesus comes into us, eats with us, and then undoubtedly talks to us, we cannot escape being confronted by his way of life.  He welcomes strangers.  He bids us go out to those who need water and food, comfort in time of distress, visits if they are imprisoned, and even clothing!  His example is one of utter grace and utter love.  I was forcibly reminded of this during our Good Friday service, when I read about Jesus’ words from the cross.  He forgave the thief and promised him Paradise, yet that day.  He forgave all who nailed him to the cross, for they did not know what they had done.  Woven through these acts were an unbelievable grace, and love that never ends. So meditate on this thought–will you let Jesus in when he knocks, and if you let him in, will you actually listen and do what he wants?

Next time you go to church, look at those doors, too!  Are they easily opened?  When people go through them what do they find?  Do they find immediate acceptance?  Do they find grace and love?  Do they find a welcome that is not conditioned on who they are or what they have done?  Do they have to subscribe to a certain set of beliefs or is there room for discussion and conversation and growing understandings on both sides?  Do they have to be “just like us?”  Is there a plan for them if they need food, if they need the bread of heaven, if they need a listening ear, if they need hand held, or if they simply need a place to sit and be with their Lord?  I challenge each one of us to make our churches places where the doors admit everyone, and where once through the doors, the welcome and hospitality is full and rich and unconditional.  I believe that is how Jesus would encourage us to have it!  AMEN


Grace and peace,

Sonja Griffith, District Executive Minister


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