Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 15, 2014
by Christia Holloway
Scripture: Revelation 3:7-13
I’m not a huge fan of Revelation (although with all of its vivid and dramatic images, no wonder it has provided endless inspiration for countless writers and artists). Of all the images we tend to associate with John’s often bizarre visions, the one in chapter 3, verse 8 is a new and very powerful one for me: “… See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut.”
This year in particular, many of us have no doubt felt disenfranchised or excluded for some reason – perhaps from the (United Methodist) Church itself, with its continuing struggles and sometimes discouraging judicial deliberations over interpreting scripture, as well as its stances on who is welcome in the church and who is not. The more I read this passage, the more encouraging and empowering it became. Yes, the author is addressing “the angel of the church in Philadelphia” but I believe the message can be applied to broader context. Imagine a door that always remains open (no knocking necessary), that no one (even ourselves) can ever shut. Sadly, so many have made the decision to shut the door to the idea of reconciling their faith with their identities. How encouraging to be reminded that, regardless of what others may tell us, or what we might even tell ourselves, the door will always be open and God’s love will always be available for us.
“I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown” (verse 11). “No one can take your faith (or your validity) from you. Hang on because help is on the way” is surely the message of Advent if there ever was one.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for open doors and your unrelenting love. Amen.