From the Word
“I AM I AM the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9
How do you get into St. Paul’s Lutheran Church? The ordinary answer is by opening the red door just off the large sidewalk that goes up to the building. Since St. Paul’s is the Church in this place, the best answer is by the gate to the kingdom, Jesus Christ.
In the context of the verse quoted above, we see thieves who try to get in by another way. So much of the world sees eternal life, heaven, end of life reward as a destination that has many paths leading to it. So many people think that all religions lead to the same thing, just by different means. They see many different doors with the same prize behind them all. Most, if not all of these systems of thought, see their works as the means by which they achieve getting through the door to heaven.
But Jesus calls such beliefs “thieves.” There is no entrance into the kingdom of God by any other way than Jesus. The problem is sin. Sin is a stain that cannot be removed by trying to overcome it, simply doing more good things than bad. Jesus alone offers atonement for sin. He alone came to take our sins, because He alone could do that. We sinners cannot bear our own sins, let alone the sins of others. Jesus, the sinless Son of God, has taken our sins away. He is the only way into the kingdom.
By faith, we are members of His kingdom, the Church. According to the text, we go in and out and find pasture. We know the safety and security of the Church. We feed on the bread of Life through the Word and the Sacraments present in our worship. We drink the living water as we focus on His Word, then share it. We live in a world where the wolves threaten, but we live with the sufficient grace of God to meet the challenges here. We seek to bring others into the fold as we tell them about the door, Jesus our Savior.
Jesus is the door to our congregation, to the Church on earth, and the Church in heaven. He came to open the way by His death and resurrection and has gone to the Father to ensure our entrance by grace through faith. Every time you see a door, remember Jesus, the door to hope, joy, peace, love, grace, and glory.