Answering the Door

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“Behold, I stand at the door and knock;

if any one hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

– Revelation 3:20

Greetings, fellow disciples of Jesus,

Earlier this week, a member of the congregation shared with me something she ran across in her devotional reading. She has been reading Norwegian Lutheran theologian Ole Hallesby’s book, Prayer. Hallesby opens this famous devotional with the above verse from Revelation and teaches that prayer has its start in Jesus’ knocking at the door. Our prayer, then, is a response to Jesus’ invitation.

That can be a surprising thought. We often thing of prayer as something we initiate. We think of a need and we decide to come to Jesus in prayer. Hallesby, though, reminds us of Jesus’ words in Revelation. If we open the door to prayer, it is only because Jesus first knocked on the door.

The same can be said for any response we make in faith. If we go to worship, if we serve at the St. John’s Food Pantry, if we give a financial gift to aid the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti, if we call a neighbor we haven’t seen in a while to check in on her and encourage her, whatever action we take in faith, it is a response to God’s initial act of calling us, gathering us, enlightening us.

This is reflected in St. John’s mission statement: “Saved by the Grace of God to witness and to serve others.” As a congregation, we confess that any witness or serving on our part is in response to the act of salvation on God’s part.

This is an encouraging thought. By the time I get around to prayer, God has already been actively present in my life. He’s not standing idly by waiting for me to pray before He acts. Jesus is the one who gave me the idea to pray in the first place, and as He promises, God already knows what we need even before we pray (Matthew 6:8). By the time I begin praying for some situation in my life, interceding for my neighbor, offering praise to God for His goodness, God has already been working.

Today, when you find yourself responding to God’s grace through prayer, through witnessing to others, or serving them, give thanks to God for His presence in your life and for calling you in Christ to follow Him in faith.

The Lord be with you.

Pastor Mike

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