In Revelation 3:20 there is a vivid illustration. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 (NLT)
What an interesting guest at the table. How incredible to break bread with the Bread of Life. Sharing a meal as friends with the King of kings and Lord of lords. Wow.
Around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is so much to do. There are people to think about and preparations to be made. Trips to visit or trips to the store for more food. The rush is on. The knock at the door may be hard to hear. The voice of the Lord can be drowned out by the frantic or the fun.
The familiar “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” seems so appropriate, but even the people who have the bumper sticker or the mug with those words clearly written on them often don’t hear the Lord knocking at the door. When Thanksgiving comes a short shout out to the Lord before the turkey gets cold is about it. At Christmas maybe, a quick nod His way before the festivities begin. And Jesus waits for you to open the door.
You have probably thought about that before, but what is there to do when there is so much to do? A change of mental priorities could help followed by a flexible plan to hear the Lord’s voice and open the door wide, so He is welcome to come in and share in all that unfolds.
To Martha who was frustrated with all her hospitality responsibilities, Jesus said you are worried about so many things, but only one is important. To those listening to His teaching about what is really important in life, He said seek first God’s Kingdom and His way and all those things you are so upset about will fall into place. Paul deals with the general idea of anxiety and says stop it. Just don’t let it get you. Turn to the Lord. Pray. Talk to the Lord about it. And when you have shifted your mental priorities, and your thinking is in line with the Lord then His peace floods your soul. His peace in the middle of preparing, planning, purchasing, and putting it together.
Often those who are faithful every day to get time with the Lord turn back to the way they have always handled holiday schedules and stress. Have you noticed that? Devotions? Got no time for devotions! Prayer? Got no time for prayer! I’ve got to function before dysfunction junction opens up a franchise.
Replace the worldly holiday thinking with heavenly thinking. Be flexible. Of course, things are hectic, and plans have to be made, and extra trips to the store happen at strange times. Deep breath. Hear the knock at the door and hear Jesus’ voice. Let Him in and sit down as friends. Early morning or late night or any other time around the wonderful gatherings of the holidays. Let some other things sit out in the cold but not Jesus.
Before the big day pray. You know who is coming and what may be coming with them. Pray. On the big day pray. At the gatherings you have heard people’s stories, concerns, likes and dislikes, hurts and achievements and now you have an opportunity to pray specifically. Pray. People are near or far from the Lord. Pray. No need to beat them down with a turkey leg. Pray. Let the peace of the living God which is so unknown in the world flow through and around you. Those who come into your presence on the big day will know something of the goodness of God just by being with you.
Talking about the Lord with loved ones can be awkward at times. But with God’s peace upon you it will be different. As you have the opportunity to share of God’s love or the wonders of Christ or the power of the Holy Spirit it will come from a true spirit of humility and appreciation because of your God-centered priorities and flexibility. What you have to say about the Lord will go down smooth like mashed potatoes and gravy rather than being forced and tough to take like dry turkey.
Do you hear the knocking at the door? It’s Jesus. Do you hear Him now? Good. What a wonderful time you are going to have during this joyous season of the year.