Who’s There?

I am standing at the door, knocking… (Rev 3:20)

One of the first images I remember from church is a painting called The Light of the World – a vivid image of greens and reds, it shows Christ with a crown of thorns knocking at a door overgrown with weeds. My mother explained that there was no outside handle on the door. Whoever is inside must be the one to open it; otherwise, Jesus will not be able to enter. I remember thinking to myself, “Who would ever refuse to open the door for Jesus Christ?”

Who would refuse?

I have refused. You have refused. Our country has refused. Our world has refused. We have all at one time or another refused to open our doors because we have forgotten that Christ himself is within each of us. Christ stands at the door and knocks, as the battered woman seeking shelter. Christ stands at the door and knocks, as the child begging for food. Christ stands at the door and knocks, as the immigrant running from persecution.

Who would refuse?

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus himself says, “I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these you did not do for me.”

Who would refuse?

The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us, “As long as there are people, Christ will walk the earth as your neighbor, as the one through whom God calls you, speaks to you, makes demands on you. Christ is standing at the door.”

Will you be there to open it?

God, forgive us when we’ve turned our backs to you. Give us the strength, the empathy, and the courage to see all of humankind in your image and to open our doors to you in love. Amen.