The theme at church last Sunday morning and subsequently for this weeks life group was ‘open doors’ – this week I have had a lot of conversations about open doors. I’ve also had ‘love is an open door’ from frozen in my head way to often.
An open door is a move – a calling – a step out of your comfort zone, a move to do something or go somewhere different. A chance for a new beginning, a new opportunity. An open door is both exciting and scary.
To go through an open door we have to leave a room, and maybe close a door. We have to stop doing something, we have to change, we have to move, we have to have a last…
There are different sized lasts, every day lasts and monumental life changing lasts. This week children and teachers all had a last day of school. For some this was a small last – a last day in school but with the comfort that next year will begin and all your friends will still be there, just in a different classroom. For others, this was a bigger last, the last day of primary school, a complete new start, a new school facing them at the end of summer. For me it was a big last – my last day in the autistic unit that I have worked in for a year and a half.
I loved my class, the children and co-teachers. I was comfortable. I was content. I was going to work every day and doing life with some amazing women, we each had roles to play, we had a routine. We had days full of laughter and days full of tears. And as challenging as a day could be, I felt like I was making at least a small difference.
Jesus loved people. He spent three years doing life with his disciples, building relationships, building friendships. I imagine he had routines, I imagine each disciple having a role, a part to play every day. I imagine them cooking around a campfire having some deep conversations and sharing times full of laughter, and tears. And they definitely made a massive difference in people’s lives everyday.
But then comes the last…
God has a massive Australia sized door for me, but I didn’t know that before I go there he’s placed another open door for me to go through – a new job, a new class, new relationships to form. It was a last that I knew would be coming but came suddenly, unexpectedly, sooner than I had planned. My last day was a time of celebration, celebrating a great school year with bouncy castles and ice cream. It was also a sad time, as I moved through my last day, we shared memories and I shed several tears. But as I said my goodbyes I held onto Gods plan.
God had a massive door for Jesus to walk through, a cross sized door only for him. Before he walked through that door he had a last of his own to face – the last supper with his disciples. A meal he eagerly anticipated and yet I imagine there were withheld tears as he broke the bread and shared the wine, as he revealed Gods plan to his disciples, his friends. But Jesus held onto the plan as he said his goodbyes.
I have free will – I could have chosen to run, to ignore the open door. I wanted to, I even planned to, I wasn’t ready to close the door and run through this one. There was sadness and tears, and I may have slammed the door in mis-understanding, in fear, and pleaded with God to change his mind, but I know God has a plan, even if I don’t know what it is yet, and in his strength I can walk through any door. I can choose to walk through this door, however intimidating, and celebrate new opportunities, and as someone said this week in life group ‘when you step through the door the landscape changes’ – who knows what this opportunity will lead to, become. I can choose to celebrate the new door that God is opening in my last.
Jesus had free will – he could have run from his open door, but he knew the plan. And on the way, in the garden, he wept and he pleaded, but still held onto Gods plan – ‘not my will but your will be done’. Jesus walked through his door, he picked up his cross. His body was beaten, pierced and broken for our sins, our mistakes. He loves us so much that he walked through the biggest open door you could imagine, he went to the cross. Jesus gave his life for his friends, his people, Jesus freely died for us when we weren’t worth dying for.
I imagine a lot of us have thought and prayed this week about the open doors God has placed in front of us. Now I ask is there a room that you need to leave to step into his plan, a last you need to walk through and choose to celebrate no matter how hard. The door you may need to close could be a distraction, a habit, an unhealthy friendship – it could mean saying no to a commitment, to free up time – it could be a little last or it could be a monumental last.
The cross was Jesus’ open door, the cross was the biggest act of sacrificial love you could imagine, the cross equals love, therefore love (the cross) really is an open door. We can accept the cross, receive this free act of love, and walk into a new life, walk into a life of sacrificial love for others, walk into his plan.
Is there something you need to place at the foot of the cross before you live this life, before you step out, close one door, to follow Gods plan through a door he’s opened for you.
The last you are facing might feel massive, insurmountable even, but the cross is big enough. What Jesus did for us is sufficient, you just need to hold onto that truth and remember God always has a plan.
(This is a message I spoke at the Bridge Church on the 24th July, my first time leading communion. I like to post messages I speak because I feel like at the moment I write better than I speak – I’m still working on my nerves but know that with practice, persistence and Gods help I will overcome them.)