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April 9, 2013

  So far Saturday morning had gone very well. My daughter Sarah and I had tickets for that afternoon’s Plymouth Argyle match. As is often the case, when you want to do something good, you have to earn it first. Our task, was to do the Tesco shop. We set off, with our list, shutting the front door behind us without a thought. Get this done, and then we get our father and daughter quality time afternoon out.

As far as I remember, the shopping was uneventful. Sarah was co-operative. Doubtless we got some things on the list wrong – as I always do. But we drove back home with a sense of achievement. Put all the food away, grab a bit of lunch, and then off to the match.

I put my key in the front door and what happened. Nothing! Nothing – that’s what! The key would not even turn in the lock. “It must just be a bit stiff”. I tried again, several times. Still nothing happened.

Remember those times when you got in trouble for leaving the back door unlocked? Well now would have been a really good time to discover I had done just that. But of course I hadn’t.  Back door locked. Windows all locked I had even glanced around for a window cleaner who might have been passing by, but wasn’t, with his ladder. No other way in. Boot full of frozen food on the thaw if we’re not careful. Oh and of course, the Argyle tickets are in the house. I’ve never been a big fan of police dramas on the telly, but I knew I’d seen that the old bill have one way of opening a door, which always seems to work very well (“Stand back – We’re gonna break your door down, scum!) Had to break it down.

I put my shoulder to work, although slightly nervous to overdo it. I tried a few times, but all to no avail. Good job  I never considered joining the boys in blue. Goodness only knows what would have happened to our plans for the day had I succeeded!

There was only one thing for it – I would have to get help. Fortunately my neighbour was in and had a Yellow Pages handy. After my embarrassed mumblings about locking myself out, she allowed me to make a call. I picked a locksmith with a reasonably prominent ad and made a booking. Someone would be with us shortly, they hoped. And so did I.

A man arrived with a box full of tools and told me that he would try to open the door, but if he could not do so simply he would have to drill the lock out. Time was passing by and the situation was desperate, so I told him to do what he had to do. Of course, he told me, this was going to cost.

He got a tool out, which I very much now hope is not available in B&Q for general use, and pushed it through the letterbox. As I watched through the side window, I saw the tool slip over the catch and pull it down. I tried the key again, and the door opened as if nothing had happened. Somehow I had managed to shut the door with the catch up and jammed it. We told ourselves afterwards that the catch had been playing up a bit – and decided the door’s days were numbered.

Anyway, we got in, unpacked the food, grabbed a bite, snatched up the tickets, sent a quick txt to wife to say we’d had a little bother. Did Argyle win? Maybe, I don’t remember, but apart from being a little worse off financially, everything turned out OK.

The incident reminded me of you and me. Locked out, not from a house, but from a relationship with God. There was nothing we could do to gain access to his presence. We could not open the door, we could not force it open, we could not climb in through a window or find a back way in. the door was firmly locked. Nothing you or I could do would make a blind bit of difference.

But God did something about that. He sent a heavenly locksmith to move the catch. He sent his son Jesus, to die for us in our place. Jesus described himself as the door, but he was also the one who opened the door. To open my house door I needed a locksmith with the right equipment, and if I remember rightly, about £50! There was a price to be paid and I had to pay it.

The difference with Jesus is that he is the locksmith who pays the price as well, but not by cheque or credit card, but at the cost of laying down his very own life. That was what it was worth to him, to get you and me ‘inside’ into that relationship with God.

I was grateful that day for locksmiths, but the following day as I joined others in worship, I was grateful even more so to Jesus, who had opened the door for me. As Jesus spoke to the church in Philadelphia in Revelation Chapter 3, he encourages them, ‘I have set before you an open door’. I have done it, you have walked in – and you are safe.

If you want to find God, you can try to do it yourself, you can try to sneak in the back door, but nothing you do will work. Time to make that call – to God’s locksmith – Jesus.


From → Christianity

One Comment
  1. Reblogged this on Saint Ant.

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