Different doors – well-known ones, figurative ones and the three doors in the New Testament.
The pictures should be shown in PowerPoint as the story is told. The ( ) shows when the slide should be changed. To attract pupils’ attention, we recommend the first slide is already on display as they enter.
The Main Text
What do you think about when you hear the word door?
You might think about the door of your own home or a door you have once stood outside, a well-known door possibly, for example the door of Number 10, Downing Street in London.
On the other hand, you might think about the imaginary door in ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, the door of the wardrobe which leads to Narnia.
Try and think about other doors that are familiar to you or that are well-known.
Or why not think about figurative doors, like the door to the mind or imagination for example? Or what about the expression ‘showing someone the door’ or ‘closing the door in someone’s face’, literally or figuratively?
And what about the doors of opportunity that open before each one of us on life’s journey? There are many sayings that link doors to opportunity, for example:
The door of opportunity doesn’t open, you need to unlock it.
The door of opportunity is wide open if you are prepared.
Learn to listen. Opportunity could be knocking at your door very softly.
Let’s consider three doors that are mentioned in the New Testament.
The first door is closed. Following the crucifixion of Christ, the disciples gathered in the upper room of a house to hide. They knew that some of the Jews hated them and they feared for their lives. There they were, hiding behind a closed door, listening out for the slightest sound. But here’s what’s remarkable about this event: from the direction of where they expected to see the enemy, they saw the Saviour. Although the door was closed, Jesus came to them and stood in their midst. In life it is, very often, when people feel that all the doors have closed in their faces that they experience deliverance.
The second door is also a closed door. There is a verse in the Book of Revelation about Jesus standing at the door of an individual’s heart and knocking. The suggestion here is that Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts waiting for us to decide whether to open the door. Jesus doesn’t force Himself on anyone.
There is a famous painting by Holman Hunt called ‘The Light of the World’. The original is in Keble College, Oxford. Holman Hunt painted two of these and the second one is found in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. It first appeared back in 1853-54. Many people have written about the painting and attempted to interpret it. It is only through close inspection that we begin to see a great deal of religious symbolism in it. The door in the painting is the door to someone’s heart, and it is significant that there isn’t a latch outside the door. This again suggests that it is up to the individual to decide whether to accept Jesus Christ into his/her heart.
The third door is an open door. Jesus described himself in many ways, such as ‘I am the Good Shepherd’ or ‘I am the Light of the World’. He also said ‘I am the Door’.
To understand the significance of these words we must remember that Jesus was using very familiar images to his listeners at the time. He was talking about the door to the sheep fold. In Palestine, there were two different types of sheep fold which had two different types of doors. There were folds found in the villages and towns where all the flocks would gather after coming down from the mountains each evening. These folds had solid doors with a lock. But there was another type of fold. When the sheep were on the mountains in hot weather, they wouldn’t come back to the villages in the evening but would stay in the folds on the mountains. These were open spaces surrounded by walls. There would be an opening in the wall for the sheep to go in and out, but no door, as such. The shepherd would sleep across this opening and the sheep would have to climb over him to go in and out of the fold. In other words, the shepherd was the door.
This is what Jesus meant when he said ‘I am the Door’. According to Jesus, individuals can only reach God through himself. This door is always an open door which provides us with security and protection throughout life’s troubles.
PRAYER: Help us, oh Lord, to open the door of our hearts and let Jesus in, and by having him in our hearts help us to behave in a better way in our day-to-tay lives by being more like Him. Amen.