“Look! I’m standing at the door and knocking. If any hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to be with them, and will have dinner with them, and they will have dinner with me.”
Revelation 3:20 (Common English Bible)
There comes the moment for each of us when we can no longer deny our inner darkness and weakness, our deficiency against the common struggles of daily life and we become weary. Exhausted, we surrender our grasping to be in control, to be strong and without need for anyone, and we seek something else – a union with some strength and purpose beyond ourselves. This verse from Revelation comes to us at such moments. Here we are told that Jesus stands at the door and is ready to come in, if we allow it, and to take possession of our lives, to re-create our inner life and fill it with light and strength. As we stop grasping and are, rather, grasped by Jesus, we are gradually lifted by him, in spite of ourselves, and, from degree to degree, changed into the likeness of Christ.
For this to proceed in our own life we must first recognize the knock of Jesus. How is that done? It may not be immediately recognizable. It may only be a vague sense of dissatisfaction with the movement of your life; a growing discomfort with the hopes, desires and ambitions that have fueled your daily decisions. Perhaps the knock is found in protest, deep in your heart, about what others are saying to you about this, or that, or another person and you sense that all of it is wrong. Something stirs within you for another conversation, one that is nobler, more loving, and lovelier. It may even be the Christ-like manner you witness in another and find that you desire to share in that behavior. The knock may simply be an impulse, a nudge, a longing of the heart.
But to recognize the knock is insufficient. It is inconceivable that anyone would hear a knock on the front door of their home and simply ignore it. To ignore an unsettled heart is just as inconceivable. A knock demands to be answered, the door opened. What stands on the other side may be refused but it must be acknowledged. For a disciple, the door is opened and Christ is admitted at once. There should be no postponement. A postponement weakens the spirit and may result in missing Christ altogether, Christ possibly never returning again. To welcome Christ is to learn of him, to listen deeply to what he teaches and then to obey all that we understand of him. It is to acknowledge that life without Christ was failing us and to utterly reject any notion of negotiating with what Christ demands.
What remains is a promise. The person, who hears the knock, opens the door and admits Christ into the inner place of their life discovers a deep and abiding communion with him, “and (I) will have dinner with them, and they will have dinner with me.” This is a relationship with Christ that moves way beyond simple obedience. It is the richest and most intimate of relationships; a relationship where one heart deeply shapes the heart of another and two are like one. Christ becomes more than a savior. Christ becomes one who makes us a better person and shares the journey of life as a contemporary, providing life with a peace and joy and adequacy that is simply unavailable without him.