In God's first century letter to the Church in Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) an image of an open door is used. God says that he has seen the way that the people there had lived as those who genuinely believed the gospel message and had undergone persecution and hardship because of it. Because of this, he says, he is placing an open door in front of them. It's a passage we'd studied in church in autumn, and the image had been used a few times since.
Thinking about which image I could use to help us reflect on the coming year, I couldn't get the thought of the open door out of my head. I wonder how many doors had been closed because we'd stuck fast to Jesus and his teaching. I wonder what doors of opportunity God will open for us in the coming year. I see this image as a doorway of opportunity that flows both ways, I like that light is coming in from outside the door, it speak to me of us being open to the ways that God will speak to us, challenge and encourage us as we open ourselves more fully to others. It is an image that fills me with faith for the coming year, instead of fear. It reminds me that we are on a divine mission, that we journey with a God who goes before us and opens doors, and that fresh encounters are just around the corner, just outside the doors.
We followed reflection on the idea of the open door by reading together Psalm 16 in the Message translation.
A David song.
A David song.
Keep me safe, O God,
I've run for dear life to you.
I say to GOD, "Be my Lord!"
Without you, nothing makes sense.
And these God-chosen lives all around–
what splendid friends they make!
Don't just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I'll never treat god-names
My choice is you, GOD, first and only.
And now I find I'm your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!
The wise counsel GOD gives when I'm awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I'll stick with GOD;
I've got a good thing going and I'm not letting go.
I'm happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I'm firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell–
that's not my destination!
Now you've got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.