My son and daughter-in-law have an endearing way of waking their twins up from a nap or a night’s sleep. They gently knock on the bedroom door and pause before entering. Even when the girls were infants, they knocked first, and I half expected one of the babies to announce, “Come in!”
It reminds me of the verse in Revelation 3:20. “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with me.” Many a Sunday School craft has represented this verse – with a cut-out door on a construction paper heart – the knob on the inside and Jesus on the outside. (Perhaps you’ve seen the painting by Harry Anderson showing Jesus knocking on the United Nations building in New York City.)
This verse tells us that Jesus wants to uphold us through pandemics and pain. But there is a caveat. We have the choice of whether to let him or not.
In my own life, I open the door wide when a trial besets our family. But when life is running smoothly, and Amazon deliveries are at my doorstep, I am just fine keeping that door closed. Well, maybe slightly ajar lest a sore throat appear with a positive covid test in its wake.
I used to think opening this door was a one-time occurrence. Jesus enters and from that moment on, he abides with you. You hum a familiar hymn, “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.” But now that I am older, I see the act of opening the door in the present participle tense – an action that is always in the now.
The lyrics of that hymn continue, “Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.”
This morning we are faced with a choice. We can keep the door closed, make our to-do lists, and go about our important lives. Or we can open the door, and hear a voice say, “Child, let’s have breakfast together. I will carry your woes and worrries. I will obliterate your guilt and shame. I will give you peace.”
Do you hear a gentle tap today? Open the door and set a table for two. And find yourself raised up in the same manner as my grand babies are – lifted from their cribs in strong arms and held close to their parents’ hearts.