Yesterday we cleaned bathrooms, vacuumed, straightened the guest room and organized the toys. This morning will be filled with baking and cooking in preparation for our much anticipated guests. Since the doorbell in our brand-new home doesn't work, we'll have to sit quietly and wait for a loud knock announcing their arrival. The scene will be chaotic. Dusty barking, running feet pelting the floor, kids screaming in excitement and bodies flying everywhere as we swing open the door and the hugs and "welcomes" start flowing.
Can you imagine if instead of welcoming our friends, I rushed to the door, stared at my closest friend since 7th grade who I'd recognize anywhere in the world, then slammed the door in her face? OUCH! Talk about needing years of counseling to recover from such a rejection.
I started the book of John yesterday and even though I've read it several times, God brought it alive. John was writing to Jews and non-Jews alike and his message to both audiences was synonymous. He sums it up in John 20:31 when he writes "These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name." But wait. The Jews had been watching, waiting, anticipating and praying for the safe arrival of their promised Messiah for years. They had read manuscripts, memorized prophesies, drawn up projected time lines for when he'd arrive and from what family he'd come to rescue them. Seems like when their much-anticipated guest knocked on their door, they would come running, tripping over each other in excitement to be the first to open the door, give Him a hug and welcome Him to their home.
But unfortunately that's not what happened. John 1:10 says "He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him." Talk about a major bummer. Jesus created the world we live in, watched us immediately begin destroying it, and after years of relational separation, decided to fix the mess. The Creator took on human flesh and came to this speck in the universe to redeem us. Jesus gave up everything to save the day and rescue us, and the people He CREATED were so mired in apathy, they didn't even recognize their long-awaited Redeemer.
Verse 11 says that it gets worse. It says, "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive Him." Jesus came knocking on His loved ones doors and not only did we not recognize Him, we slammed the door in his face. I momentarily patted myself on the back for wecloming Jesus when He knocked on the door of my life, but immediately felt convicted. I may have welcomed Jesus in my front door, but what doors in my life are still closed? Does my bedroom have a "Do Not Enter" sign posted? Is the toy room closed with an "I've got parenting under control" sign half-ripped off the door? The time of personal reflection was impactful as I let the Holy Spirit work His magic and dredge up the crud in my life that needs to be purged and point out what preparations still need to be made for Jesus to intimately live in my life.
Anne, Anne, my best friend Anne, will be arriving in a few hours. The preparations may not be finished when she arrives, but I promise I won't slam the door.