Monday, April 28, 2014

Closed Doors

The ‘Door’, what does a door have to do with the resurrection? Last Sunday the ‘door’ to the tomb was rolled back. The stone was rolled away and the angel told Mary Jesus was risen from the tomb and would meet them all in Galilee.
The disciples in today’s gospel lesson are behind a ‘door’ that’s locked for fear the Jews will find them and crucify them.
We can understand their fear. Their leader, the Rabbi, is risen but they haven’t encountered him yet. So, they feel that they’re safer behind the locked door surrounded by friends. Even with that, Jesus appears in their midst offering them peace and the Holy Spirit.
Are ‘closed’ doors always a bad thing? Not always, sometimes, ‘doors’ need to be closed. Sometimes, we need them closed so we can be regenerated, renewed, because the world has drained away all our energy. Sometimes, the door needs to be closed so we can heal. So maybe, we shouldn’t be too critical of the disciples for being behind locked doors. Maybe they too needed to be renewed…and healed.
One good thing about doors is that they made to be closed…and opened. Eventually they would have to open the door and go out for supplies or back home or to Galilee to find Jesus.
As today’s reading tells us not all the disciples were present the first time Jesus appeared in the upper room. Thomas was absent. We don’t know why for sure. We heard Thomas speak to us a couple weeks ago why he wasn’t there.
It could be he was hiding behind another door. Maybe he needed to be with a friend who was able to reassure him. Maybe he decided they needed their food stock replenished. Whatever it was he wasn’t there the first time Jesus came.
He was there the next time. Again, Jesus appeared in the room among the disciples even though the door was closed and locked.
Now that closed door must have been important for John to have pointed out a second time that the disciples were behind a door that was closed and locked.
Don’t you kind of wonder why they were still hiding behind this locked door after Jesus had appeared to them the week before and given them his peace? It may have been that even though they had seen Jesus they still weren’t quite sure they could believe what they’d seen. So, Jesus came back.
This time, though, he focused his attention on Thomas. This must have been the catalyst that the rest of the disciples needed since after this the disciples left the room and went to Galilee in search of Jesus.
So, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re most likely not much different from the disciples. We fear death enough that we will do just about anything to maintain our good health and be safe. Sometimes, we may even close and lock the door so no one can come in.
But that doesn’t keep Jesus, our Savior, out. Even though our doors are closed and locked he can still come in. 
Sometimes, even when we’re trying to lay low and hide from God because we’ve sinned and we know it and we know God knows it, God finds his way into our hearts past the locked door. He gives us his peace and his Holy Spirit reminds us, again, that we’re forgiven.
No matter how often we go into hiding or how well we hide ourselves God, Emmanuel, is always with us. He never leaves us. He never gives up on us. God’s always there. He was there for the disciples and he’s there for us.
So, this week, every time you encounter a closed door think about why it’s closed, what might be on the other side, and be reminded that even if you lock it Jesus will find a way to come in and give you his peace.
Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.

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