Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Walking in the Way of Mercy

Jesus said "Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall receive mercy."


I’ve been struggling with our Church Doors recently. They are awkward and heavy things to open and close in the rain. Wet hands struggle with cold keys, the wood expands and swells. The sheer amount of rainfall we’ve had has made the apparently straightforward task of unlocking or locking a door a bit of a trial at times.


In this Year of Mercy, take a look again at our Church Doors, and all they represent. We go through them to enter Church, the House of God, bringing our joys and sorrows, our sins and failings, and our thanksgivings. We are sent through them as worship ends, back to our daily lives, to live and work to God’s praise and glory.


A door is opened by a key. The Christian tradition has identified Christ himself as the Key, the one who, in a mystical sense, locks and unlocks the entrance of the Church. "O Key of David," we sing in Advent, "you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open." True faith, then, is a divine gift, and no intruder can pilfer the supernatural goods of our holy religion.


Christ refers to Himself as a door, the Door of a sheepfold. "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he shall be safe" (John 10:9). How kind and encouraging his invitation sounds, ‘So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9).


Our Church Doors are indeed Doors of Mercy. If we walk through them in humility, ready to admit our need of God’s Mercy, then this forthcoming Holy Season of Lent will speak to us of the God who waits and longs to draw near to us.


As you walk through the doors of the Church, remember your life is a pilgrimage in God’s mercy.


As you walk through the doors of the Church, remember God’s call to open your heart to his mercy found in serving others.


May God bless us in the keeping of a Holy Lent,