Friday, September 17, 2010

A Doorkeeper in the House of the Lord

Several years ago I read Sam Shoemaker’s poem, “I Stand by the Door.” In his poem he warns that if you’ve been in the “house of God” for most of your life, you’re in danger of forgetting those still outside the house:

Go in, great saints, go all the way in--
Go way down into the cavernous cellars,
And way up into the spacious attics--
It is a vast roomy house, this house where God is . . .

I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in.
You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
And forget the people outside the door . . .

As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from people as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.

Where? Outside the door--
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But--more important for me--
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.

So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
“I had rather be a door-keeper . . .”
So I stand by the door.

Acts 2:39 reads “The promise [of forgiveness] is for you and your children and for all who are far off”. Too often our churches become places that are simply “for us and our children,” but we also need to pay attention to “all who are far off,” too. It’s not enough to reach out with special programs and class parties and youth and children activities. As important as these things are, Scripture tells us to connect with those outside our “house”.

As we get ready for this Sunday, let us also have eyes for those need God’s love and grace through Jesus.

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