When Jesus is knocking (and he always is)

This past Saturday, many of us from New Covenant had the opportunity to be “bell ringers” for the Salvation Army. The experience was enlightening (even though our pastor Jeff managed to sign us up for the coldest day of the year so far).

As I rang the bell, standing just outside the grocery store door, some people pretended to hear nothing and diverted their eyes, as though that somehow made the bell, and me, go away. Is Jesus knocking on your door on behalf of God while you are pretending not to hear anything and turning your eyes away? Is there an opportunity to serve, a sin to face, a lack of forgiving someone, time priorities or money priorities about which Jesus is knocking and you are pretending that no one is there?
Other people started talking to someone next to them so that they had a “good reason” to look away. Still others suddenly became very busy straightening out the carrier on the cart or helping their child (who needed no help), and managed to be too busy too pay any attention to the ringing bell. Are you making sure that you are too busy to hear Jesus knocking at your door and asking for a little of your time and attention? Is Jesus knocking on the door of your life while you make sure that the other people in your life—family, friends, co-workers—give you an excuse to ignore the knock?

Perhaps the most annoying were the people who would suddenly grab for their cell phone, put it to the ear between themselves and me so that they could make the bell ringing (and me) disappear. Jesus is knocking on your door. Are you hiding behind all your toys and technologies, pretending that no one is there?

Then there were the people who looked me straight in the eye as the bell rang, shook their heads saying “No, not today,” and went about their business. I found this to be far better than all the pretending. These people were being real with me even if they were not responding the way I hoped at the moment.

And, there were the people who heard the bell, gave me a smile, and reached for their purse or billfold. Most amazing were the people who would hear the bell ringing clear out in the parking lot, already have the purse open, the money out, and be ready to respond as soon as they got to the door.

How do you respond to (or avoid) Jesus’ knocking? It’s not always easy, but I think Jesus wants you to respond in one of these last three ways. If you are going to say “No,” to him right now, say it straight up and eye to eye, and the two of you can continue working things out.

Even better, hear the knock, open your life, and experience the blessings of having Jesus come and to be with you more fully than ever before. Maybe, you could even be like those people way out in the parking lot and start getting ready to answer Jesus’ knock at your door long before you even get to the door.  He loves that!

Blessings,

Ron S.

____________________

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 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 them, and they with me.  To those who are victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ~Revelation 3: 19-22

2 Comments On “When Jesus is knocking (and he always is)”

  1. Thanks for this, Ron. Your bell ringing experience is a great analogy for the idea of Jesus knocking at our hearts.

    I was glad to hear you talk about this on Sunday, because I have to admit, I had some negative feelings about this image leftover from childhood. I used to go to a Wednesday evening children’s group at a church near our house (not the church I grew up in), and I clearly remember them showing an image of Jesus knocking on a very large heart (I guess it was meant to be door-sized). I think they might have referenced it at the end of every meeting, before we prayed, as a way to “save souls.”

    As a child, I could grasp that concept, and I liked it. But then I didn’t know what to do with it. What did it look like to answer the door? I closed my eyes and said “Come in Jesus” over and over, but that didn’t feel effective.

    And then, what was supposed to happen next? If Jesus HAD indeed come into my heart, how was I supposed to know? How would I feel different?

    Now, 30 years later, I have a better sense about all of this, but I still wonder some of the same things. What does answering the door look like? And what are we supposed to do if we feel like we tried to answer it and nothing has happened?

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  2. Hi Kristin,

    Great questions. In the Revelation context, the preceeding statements would indicate two things were in mind then: (1) turning away from our arrogance as well as our lukewarmness toward God created by our obsession with our “things;” and (2) “earnestly” turning toward whatever nudge from Jesus or sighting of Jesus we might be having.

    Jesus often said that he is confronting us with his presence through the people we meet in our daily lives who are in need. Sometimes through our own hungers and thrists in life that are not being filled. And, sometimes by answering our prayers for more “sightings” of God at work in our day to day lives. Usually, we have to take the risk of going forward while we still feel less than certain, and being honest about whether or not it seems like Jesus responds to us. At least for me, part of faith is risking acting as obediently to what it means to be a human before God as I can without being sure that I have it all figured out. A lot of the time, it turns out to be a very blessed risk. Sometimes, a big learning experience that I would not have chosen.

    Your questions are big ones and deserve more, but maybe this is a start. / Ron

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