Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. (Revelation 3:20)
This "watchword" grabbed me today. It is always worth checking out where a single verse is located in the broader context of its book. When I looked up Revelation 3, I was reminded that this is the section where John is instructed to write letters to various upstart Christian communities (to the angels of these communities as it to be exact). Laodicea is the intended recipient community of this corrective invitation. The verse in question is all promise and invitation; but, it is interesting to note what precedes this:
The Message to Laodicea
14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin[a] of God’s creation:
15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.
Revelation 3:16 and 3:20 have always resonated with me. Today I found out that they actually hang together. Cool!
How incredible is this invitation?
Phil, all you have to do is open the door to me.
I am knocking and waiting.
Just open the door and we can eat together - sharing in each
other's company in this deliciously simple-yet-profound way.
Have you ever been asked the question: "If you could dine with any person from history, who would you chose?" I have often thought I'd choose Jesus. Imagine the wry smile on my face when I realized he has been patiently though not dispassionately awaiting just such an opportunity!!!!
This is a seriously cool promise. Perhaps it is not by accident that it is paired with a pretty serious challenge. "Phil, if only you would choose a direction and really commit to it, I would be pleased. But, if you are intent upon continuing to meander about, doing as you like, I am going to cut ties with you in an abrupt manner.
To grow, we need to be cheered on, encouraged and challenged. To grow in faith, these challenges must always be tempered by commensurate demonstrations of solidarity, care and love.
Today I am taking my temperature as a disciple. Am I hot or cold as a learner/follower of Jesus? Am I lukewarm and complacent?
Does the temperature of your commitment to the Lord need adjusting? What better way to begin than by opening the door and sitting down to dine with the Rabbi himself?
Dear Jesus, don't spit me out! Thanks for shaking me awake. We live in such sleepy, complacent, satiated times. Could we make a dinner date soon? I am hungry and can't imagine anyone I'd rather dine with. Amen.