Colleges, Business Schools and Health programmes each promise, some guarantee, their courses when completed, will open doors to success and new possibilities for their graduates in academic qualifications, careers or physical fitness. Their brochures provide enticing pictures to those seeking to advance themselves, or lift their life to a higher level. Education opens doors to possibilities. Career advisors provide expertise for the candidates to make the wisest choice. Throughout our life we are given options. Some doors may remain closed to us. Passing through others possibilities become a reality. No matter how aged we become, or weak we feel, possibilities lie before and within us every day. Almost every book we open becomes a door to new possibilities.
To describe himself and his mission to the people Jesus used powerful metaphors. One of which was “I am the Door” (Jn.7:9). What did that suggest to his listeners, the ordinary folk whose daily life was burdened, handicapped, or disabled? What does it suggest to us? How many doors to healing and restoration did he open for the poor, the sorrowful and desperate?
When visited by the angel, Mary was afraid. His presence and his message opened a door of possibilities that startled her by their possible consequences. Later, in the stable, as a new life came from her womb and lay helpless on the straw at her feet, what possibilities crossed her mind? As any mother looks into the face of her baby she wonders what potential lies nestled against her. When Mary, having made her offering in the temple, placed her son into the arms of Simeon and heard his prayer and warning, a door of possibilities opened that must have sent tremors through her body. Recurring perhaps when, as a boy, she lost him and found him seated among the temple scholars.
Spiritual growth never ceases. We never arrive. Creation and re-creation are a constant activity of God. There is always more. More to learn, more to know, more to experience. ‘Come and see!’ What unfolded after that invitation? ‘Follow me!” What doors of surprise did that lead them to? ‘Be holy!’ What infinite possibilities does that promise? ‘Be healed!’ What new status and opportunities did that bring to the recipient? As the disciples accompanied Jesus from village to village they must have wondered each morning what would happen next throughout the day.
Things changed so much and so quickly. Forces began to assemble, puzzling, troubling them. His teaching went so deep they sensed something was about to happen. Then Jesus said, ‘I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now….the Spirit of truth will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. (Jn.16:12 TM). He became for them the ‘Door’ to God possibilities that would boggle their mind.
Centuries before the psalmist had exclaimed, ‘The world’s a huge stock pile of God wonders and God thoughts’ (40:5), and again ‘Take a good look at God’s wonders – they’ll take your breath away (66:5). As he looked at God’s creation doors of wondrous possibilities opened up to him. The open door is there for us today if we wish to step through.
In the imagination of C.S. Lewis when Lucy and her companions stepped through the wardrobe door they found themselves in a wonderland of imagery and mystical characters like Aslan the Lion. When we come to the cross what door opens for us flooding our life with the light of the Father’s everlasting mercy and love? Hanging there Jesus opened the door of divine blessedness to a penitent thief, ‘Today, you’ll be with me.’
When the women crept through the deserted streets in the early hours before dawn, they asked ‘Who will roll away the stone?’ – the door to the sepulchre where they assumed his body lay. To their astonishment the ‘door’ lay open. What staggering possibilities burst upon them as they ran back with the news, ‘He is not there! Today we sometimes speak of someone who is seriously ill, of being at death’s door. The term, may be appropriate, but understandably distressing, but the good news is Jesus calms our fears. In life Jesus became the Door to possibilities. As the risen Christ he opens the door to indescribable possibilities and unimaginable wonders far beyond our human comprehension, leaving us ‘Lost in wonder, love and praise’.