Who's knocking at the door?
Last week I was working in my study when I heard someone knocking at the door. A dilemma. My study is almost the farthest point in our house from the front door and getting there in time requires a bit of a sprint.
Who could be knocking at my door? It could be a friend, someone I would love to see and have a cup of tea with. But none of those were expected (although I do have some friends) and very few people visit on the spur these days. Maybe a Jehovah’s Witness or two - they come a couple of times a year for conversation if not enlightenment. Maybe some carol singers – they are meant to come about now. But actually, when was the last time any carol singers formed up outside my front door like they do on Christmas cards? Never.
So, not worth a dash down the stairs. Oh! But it might be a delivery, probably not Yodel until next year (!) but maybe DHL in the big square brown vans or the Royal Mail in the small red vans. Off I sprint. Don’t we love to catch the delivery man (although few householders have been known to do so!)? I open the front door, panting, wheezing and leaning on my knees, to find a dishevelled, hairy and shivering young man waving a yellow identity card and pleading for me to buy some overpriced household goods from his bag.
I’ve knocked on many doors in my time. Some have opened and welcomed me in, some have opened only to slam shut again, some have stayed resolutely closed.
I am reminded of John’s words in John 1:11, He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. And in Revelation 3:20, 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 him and he with me.
Amidst all the parcel deliveries, wrapping and opening. Amidst the cooking and eating, the pouring and drinking, Jesus stands at the door and knocks. Hi, he says, I’m here! Can I come in?
Lord Jesus, welcome, please come in. Please join our party. May I hear your voice and celebrate with you in this season of festivity. Thank you for your great gift – yourself. Take your place in my heart and my home.
We meet for weekly worship as usual on Sunday 28 December. We share communion together and then the children go to their groups and adults will be learning and praying as normal.
On the following Sunday (4 January 2015) I will be introducing our week of prayer and fasting. You can pick up a handout there or download one from the website on the day. In the evening we will have the first of our 3 ww@7 team training meetings.
A couple of weeks later we will be starting a series called “Doing the Stuff” which will be a practical guide to learning: how to see what God is doing around us; how to share our faith; how to pray for the sick and so on – in preparation for the Doing the Stuff conference on 13-14 March. That conference will be popular and we expect people from all over the North to attend. I would hate you to miss out so please move quickly and book your tickets, make every effort to be there, it will be challenging and inspirational and may well change your life!
A year ago we retreated into the Bunker and sought to consecrate ourselves. I know many of you have gone on an inner journey as a result and I would love to hear your story. Please write to me, telephone me or come and see me (Friday afternoons in White’s Deli is a good time) and tell me what has been happening.
From time to time the Lord may prompt you to make a one-off additional gift to the church. I have an opportunity for you. We would like to take a significant step in improving the quality of the sound at weekly worship by upgrading the PA. Because of the nature of the building this has to be done sensitively and is quite costly. I would like to raise £5,000 to do it very soon. Please would you ask the Lord whether or not this is something to which you could give? If so, you can transfer the funds to the church bank account and just add the reference “PA” (Sort Code: 20-63-25, Account No: 13376745). Or call/email me to discuss.
By the way, I took pity on the shivering young man and bought a calendar. The trouble is, I can’t think who to give it to – it’s decorated with little bears and is not, frankly, in great taste. In contrast, the gifts Jesus brings are already paid for. And they are good and precious and so easy to share.