When Jesus Knocks

Writing over at The Glorious Table today about my nostalgia for knocking on my friend’s doors as a kid, asking if “so-and-so” could play. We don’t knock on people’s doors like we used to, but Jesus still knocks on ours. I’m so glad. Read on for a preview below or click here for the full post.

I think I may have thrived in another era. Not to say that I’m doing poorly in this one, but I do carry a bit of nostalgia for some social constructs of decades past. As an example, one of the things I loved as a child of the  ’80s, which has since faded, is the normalcy of showing up at someone’s front door unannounced.

As a kid, the only thing I had to wait for before I knocked on a friend’s door was for it to be at least nine o’clock in the morning. An early riser most of my life, I had friends (more likely my friends’ parents) who were less than thrilled if I showed up to play before they were even out of bed—or out of their pajamas. But once it was normal hours for the world, it was an acceptable routine for me and the other neighborhood kids to show up and ask if so-and-so could play.

Changes such as these have fueled my interest in the increasing social phenomenon of isolation. While more recent narratives point to the increase in technology as the culprit, books like Bowling Alone by Robert Putnamsuggest American social life began to shift as early as the 1960s. In the decades since, we have become less likely to be involved in civic life, either through organizations or activities, which he suggests is to our detriment. Pairing this research with his commentary on “the disappearing front porch” tied to gun violence, interior comforts, and reduction of sharing resources and experiences, makes me long for the days when we shared our lives more fully and spontaneously than we do today.

Why all the waxing poetic about days gone by? The other day, I ran across Revelation 3:20, and it struck me as inviting. Anything inviting with Jesus attached just seems like it deserves a reflection.

Here’s the verse:

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (NIV).

a turquoise door open to the outside

Now, before we get into what the verse says, I thought we’d spend a little time focused on what it does not say. Sometimes, this can give us as much insight as anything else. Here are a few examples:

  1. It does not say, “Here I am! I stand at the door pounding until you open it. I will get you to open this door against your will.” Jesus may show up at our door, but he does not bust his way in. He is a deeply loving but also free-will-supporting neighbor. He wants to be involved in our lives, but we have to open the door and let him in.
  2. It does not say, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, they will be subsequently read a list of rules as well as a review of their good and bad marks in my ledger. Good times for all.” No. Of course, we know Jesus receives us with grace. However, our hearts sometimes still fear criticism. Remember, it is safe to open the door to Jesus.
  3. Finally, it does not say…

Finish the full post here at The Glorious Table!

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