Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A Group Like No Other

"Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends” Revelation 3:20.

I absolutely love my morning routine so much that I can’t wait to get up in the morning (most days). My mind and body usually nudge me awake around 5:00ish. I lay there until 5:30ish at which point my obsession over my cup of coffee becomes too much to keep in my mind. I come down, put on my worship music, lean against a warm heating pad, drink my coffee and…you guessed it…pull up Facebook. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming!) Eventually I have my prayer time and move on to my Bible study. The couch where I perch is directly in front of a beautiful picture of Christ knocking on a door. He’s just standing there all alone looking sort of doubtful than anyone is on the other side.
About a week ago, I read an article on this very subject. The author corrected this image of Christ coming to us alone as he reeled off stories from the Bible. Jesus always had a ‘band of ragged and sometimes whacky mob of sinners and saints’ with Him. Jesus was rarely alone except when He was praying. He always surrounded Himself with weird people, derelicts and downright horrible sinners (as opposed to good sinners!). I remember thinking about how certain people in my life drive me crazy. I have always heard that God places people in our lives to build our character into more Christ-like attitudes.

When Christ knocked on my door I opened it alright. With Him, in walked the person who has required more patience from me than I care to remember. In walked a person who was so incredibly difficult to love. In walked another who has continuously broken commitments and promises to me. But in that line who entered with Him were parents who loved me like no other. Sisters and friends who would put their lives on the line for me. Spiritual mentors who showed me true grace, sacrificial love and wisdom straight from God. Surrounding Jesus was a husband who grew into a resemblance of Him and children who grew in great love and devotion to me despite my failings. I wouldn't trade these people for anything, even if it meant making room for the others. I realize that I have been put in the lives of others with my shortcomings to develop them into better Christ followers.

I look at the picture now knowing that Christ doesn’t come to the door of our heart alone. He comes front and center, and when we truly invite Him in we also invite the group He specifically chose for us.

At times, they’ll drive you nuts and can even break your heart. But they always come with Jesus, and you get to love and learn from them. Standing right behind Jesus are the poor and the lost, the people in your life who need a Savior – the powerful and the marginalized, the arrogant and the brokenhearted, the religiously self-righteous and the smug secularists, the healthy and the sick. Everyone in the world doesn’t show up with Jesus at your door, just the people you can touch with your little life. So, there they are – Jesus and His loves – standing at your door. So, if you wonder how you are going to love and enjoy this motley band, He’s there to help you do what’s utterly counterintuitive.” Matt Woodley.

No comments: