Ponderings with Doug – September 30, 2016



The church office is not in the church building. The church office is behind the soon to open, Donut Hole donut shop. There are advantages and disadvantages to our location. My office is in the back of the building and I have a door to the outside from which I can escape. There are advantages and disadvantages to the location of my office.

As I write this article, the office door is open. I enjoy this time of year. The first hints of fall in the morning are moments that I don’t want to miss. So, rather than standing on the porch I open the door and invite the fall into the office. Now there are other things that will come into the office with the fall, but that is fine, because the cool morning air is worth any flying varmint that wishes to hang out in the office.

There have been interesting conversations at the opened door with people who are looking for something. I am not the counselor, the lawyer or the court building, but I can point people to the proper door to answer their needs. I have actually had people walk up to my open door looking for the preacher. It is nice to be needed.

After a long hot summer, fall is a blessing and a relief. The cool air means that Christmas Festival is coming. I have told you that I am a kid at heart, right? Last night I dreamed about going shopping for Christmas lights. By the way, if any of you have some old C-9 Christmas light strings with the bulbs, I’ll take them off of your hands. This is a special Christmas season because Christmas is on Sunday this year. I am waiting for the signs that the city is decorating for the season. I am also listening to Christmas music while I let the cool fall morning filter into my office through the opened door.

Opening the back door is a way of praying that God will let His grace and love blow into my life through the events of this time of year. These cool mornings remind me that the word for “Spirit” is the word for wind and breath both in Hebrew and in Greek. So the cool breeze is like the refreshing spirit of God.

Let’s get to the point. Is the door of your life open or closed? Many of us grew up in a place and time when we didn’t lock the doors of our homes. Today we lock them, dead bolt them, turn on the motion lights and set the alarm. Our doors keep us protected and them out!

Doors create boundaries in our lives. They give us a sense of control, safety and peace. They mark what is ours. They help us decide who and what we allow in.

There are few people who come to our doors these days. People running for political office still knock on doors. There are a couple of church groups that still knock on doors. People selling alarm and home security systems knock on doors. The FedEx and UPS people knock on your door and then run. A knock on the door is not a good thing. I know my rowdy canine herd goes crazy when the doorbell rings. I am usually not thrilled when someone is at the door. I suppose if I had better mannered dogs, I would have more drop in friends. Most of my friends tell me they are coming to see me before they ring the doorbell. They want me to control the thundering herd of canine cavorters.

When the doorbell rings without prior notice I am usually not thrilled by who is at the door.

So in my world, I preemptively reject the person at the door. The dig-dong of the doorbell for me is like the final buzzer in a basketball game. It is over for the person standing on the porch.

Do you do that too? Preemptively reject someone based on a preconceived response. We all have our lists of folks who don’t belong or don’t fit into our notion of what is polite and right. We all reject people before we know them. I am praying that God would work on me in this area.

What if we preemptively accepted someone? That no matter who they were or what they did we would love them and be gracious to them? How would our lives change? How might their lives change?

I suppose I am bothered by that verse in the Bible about Jesus standing at the door and knocking.

What if the person at the door is Jesus?