The Church Doors, Revisited

churchdoors.jpg A few weeks ago I asked, “Where are the Doors to the Church?” There were several good points raised in the comments following, and I wanted to respond at the time… but time got the better of me. I wanted to resurrect the metaphor once more, as some of the comments had me thinking about it a little further.

As we describe it, the path that most people take into the “house” of faith is not a door per se, at least not one that people simply walk up to and fling open, as it were. People are led in, or let in through relationships. This is the way it should be, and the more I thought about the scenario, the more I came back to a passage in John 10:

Nice to be Back… with Thoughts on the Grant of Authority

goodshepherd_glass.jpg Every now and then, there are times when you show up someplace after some period of time and discover that your interim absence had been noted. You know, in places where you didn’t think you were that much a part of things. Such was my visit to St. Ben’s last night. Owing to circumstances upon which I have not yet commented here (but will eventually), I’ve not made it out to St. Ben’s on Sunday evening since Christmas, so there’s been a 3½-month interval since my last appearance. It was good to reconnect with folks and to discover that perhaps we’ve become more a part of the community there than we’d realized. I also had a good conversation with someone I’d not met before. Turns out yesterday was “Good Shepherd Sunday” — there are all kinds of things in the church calendar and in the Anglican tradition that I’m still finding out for the first time, but I was reminded again how rich the liturgy is and how much I’d missed it.

Mary, Why Have You Come Here?

rembrandt_jesusappearstomary.jpg The week following Easter weekend is a good time to think about some of the post-resurrection appearance of Christ. The painting here is by Rembrandt, featuring his conception of Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene. The first part of John 20 tells the story. Mary discovers the stone rolled away from the tomb and immediately tells the disciples. Peter and John enter the tomb to find it empty, then go back home, dumbfounded. Mary hangs back and looks into the tomb for herself, seeing two angels who ask why she is crying. After she responds she sees Jesus, but doesn’t recognize him. He too asks why she is crying, but she still doesn’t recognize him — not until he speaks her name, at which point her recognition is instant.