The First Sunday in Lent, 2017
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
All are welcome
The Fire Marshal wanted us to change the lock on the front door of the church. We had a deadbolt so that, once the church was unlocked, it remained unlocked. You needed only to pull on the handle for the door to open. But you can’t have a deadbolt on an emergency door, so we had to get one with a lever-type latch that would open with a single motion of the hand. There was something about this that bothered me for several days before I finally figured out what was wrong. It meant that door wasn’t always open. You couldn’t just pull on those large door handles; you had to turn the knob to be admitted.
Church doors need to be open. It is an essential understanding of the faith that “All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” When we forget this, when we forget that we are a single human family, that God’s ears are open to the cry of every heart, we are in trouble. Not only does it deny the reality of God’s steadfast love, down that road lies the possibility that someone might deny – or I might forget – that I, myself, am welcome.
(For the counting of the days of Lent see the page: Counting to Forty)