And there’s a copy of the traditional painting in Fellowship Hall downstairs. It’s very common; this isn’t the first church I’ve served that’s had that image in the building somewhere. The pleasant “Nordic” Jesus raps on the heavy door with one knuckle; looks like maybe he’s been going house-to-house and is a little tired. Needs coffee. Actually, he wants more.
“Listen! I stand at the door and knock; if any hear my voice and open the door, I will come into their house and eat with them, and they will eat with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
I used to think that this verse was about his desire to enter the lives of those who don’t believe in him. While Jesus does have that desire, that’s not what the verse is about. He’s knocking on the door of the church and he’s there because he’s not happy (read all of verses 14-21, to the church of Laodicea, in modern Turkey). They are too comfortable with their stuff; they are “lukewarm.” He wants the church to take the risk of more faith. Do something! He is not happy.
But, Jesus would like to reconcile. That’s why he’s at the door. He is assuming that the door will open and there will be hospitality on the other side. Can you believe it? He’s inviting himself for a meal. The nerve! He assumes we’ll understand his concern and his authority to be there. It’s his church and we say we are his followers. He wants to straighten things out.
I like to think of myself as reconciled with Jesus, but he’s looking for a deeper relationship. He’s asking me to put aside my comfortable stuff and find true reconciliation through meal-type sharing with people God loves. That’s one way to think about it. He’s also asking me to simply act on what I say I believe – in real ways. Tap, tap, tap. “Can we talk?”
When I seem distracted, looking at the south windows, that’s what I’m thinking. He’s disrupting my moment, but I need to hear what he has to say, to know what he’s thinking.
For a different take on the “Jesus Knocking at the Door” image, check out this devotional by Mary Luti, called “The Threat.” http://www.ucc.org/daily_devotional_threat
I recommend the UCC daily devotionals to you: http://www.ucc.org/daily_devotional