Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Another Door is Open
Rev. 4:1 After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” 2 At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne!
This metaphor of an open door is used repeatedly throughout the book of Revelation. We see the open door before the church in Philadelphia, a door open to the kingdom of God. Then we also read about Jesus who is standing at the door and knocking, waiting for a door to be opened so that there can be eternal fellowship. Now, we are brought to a new door, one which opens up into heaven. Each open door provides us with a fuller understanding of who Christ is and of the salvation that is made possible through him.
This new vision takes us from earth to heaven, from the current realities of our faith to the eternal promises. Jesus becomes for us THE door, THE gateway to the visions and realities of heaven. The church is to be a reflection of the kingdom of God here on earth, a small glimpse of heaven to the world around us. Now, as John is ushered into the throne room he sees what is possible through the working of the Holy Spirit. The church is the habitation of God on earth, with the sanctuary being the very place where we come into God’s holy presence to worship.
Jesus has opened this new door, and it is the reality of the kingdom of God on earth, as it is in heaven.
I’m not sure that we take the reality of the church serious enough. It’s all become quite casual and, for many, an optional activity on a Sunday. But the church is far greater than this and there is a depth which I believe we have taken for granted. The Church is the bride of Christ and is the way in which God has chosen to be present in this world. With all of her warts, bumps and bruises, the church remains God’s way of interacting with the world.
We are in the midst of a major natural catastrophe in the United States and people are looking to the church and her response. While the world has seemed calloused toward the church, when there is a crisis, people expect the church to show up! As someone recently told me about a disaster response, there weren’t any people running around in “Atheist” team t-shirts, or vans! Nearly everyone there was from a little church somewhere and they had come out in droves to help. Yes! The church does still respond in self-sacrificial ways to the needs of the world around us. This is a little reflection of heaven on earth.
Another concern is the way in which we may not take the worship service all that seriously. Or, when we have traded worship of God into consumer attraction which suddenly makes worship about us. In the throne room of heaven there is one focal point, and that is, God on the throne. The center of our worship must be God. The reason we show up on Sunday is because we want to worship God and reflect what is happening in heaven here on earth.
Jesus is opening another door for us which leads us to a deeper walk. The kingdom of heaven is now here on this earth and we are asked to participate in all the this means. The vision of John is pointing the way for all God’s people to follow the open doors of the kingdom to a place of total and complete submission to the will of the Father. There, in the Spirit, we are overcome by the holiness of God, and our desire is to always walk through God’s open doors.
Lord, please give me the courage to faithfully walk through the open doors you provide. Amen.