The Saga of the Mysterious Stranger at the Door
I could blame the phobia on a number of things: way too many scary movies when I was a child, an older sister who took great pride in scaring the bejeebers out of her little sister, or the fact that I have a terribly vivid imagination. Regardless of the origin, this ole lady can whip up a scary situation out of the just about anything. Enter the saga of the mysterious back-door snowman.
The tale begins years ago when I made it my personal goal to purchase some hand-sewn door hangings to adorn my back entryway…one for every season. There’s the brightly feathered turkey for Thanksgiving, the floppy-eared bunny for Easter, the beautifully colored leaves for fall, the delicate bird nest for summer, and yes, the aforementioned snowman for those brisk winter days. As harmless as this little guy may look during the day, when the sun goes down and the moonlight illumination reveals only his outline, this happy snowman takes on a sinister look. And if I get up for any reason at night and work my way down the hallway, I am greeted by the shadowy outline of this guy. It is then that he is no longer a snowman, but a stranger at my door, and to be quite honest, he creeps me out! You might be asking yourself, Then why don’t you just take the creepy snowman down and save yourself the midnight fear fest? You might find the answer to that query a bit odd.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” We are all familiar with that verse, and most often the picture that we conjure up is one of our precious Savior standing at the heart’s door of a lost soul, begging to be admitted. But when read in context, we find that in this instance Jesus is addressing a fellowship of believers, more specifically, the Laodicean church. Unfortunately, we find that this was a church whose passion had faded, that had become smug in their prosperity, a church that found itself self-reliant, self-righteous and spiritually indifferent to sin. And sadly, our powerful and awesome Lord, the One Who “walketh in the midst,” “the first and the last,” the One Whose “eyes are flames of fire” and feet are “like unto fine brass,” had been crowded out, pushed away.
The Lord chastises the church at Laodicea for being lukewarm, “neither hot nor cold.” To first century readers, this word picture immediately takes on a special meaning. From a military standpoint, the town of Laodicea had an excellent advantage, for she was nestled safely in the mountains. But from a practical standpoint, she had a glaring weakness. Due to the fact that her water was not drinkable, she was deeply dependent on outsourced water supplies. Life-giving water had to be transported into the city through aqueducts originating from springs located miles away. The closest water sources were found in Hierapolis, known for its healing, restoring, therapeutic hot springs, and in Colossae, the home of cold, satisfying, refreshing spring waters. After traveling several miles in stone pipes on a path to Laodicea, the hot and cold water from these two sources would lose their desired temperature…become lukewarm…unsuitable for either healing or refreshment. The clear imagery of the uselessness of lukewarm water depicts the church at Laodicea, a people who had become neither hot nor cold, but “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”
I don’t want my faith to become lukewarm to my Savior. I don’t want my vitality and usefulness to become dull, distasteful, and unsatisfying to my King; I want to share an intimate, close relationship with Him. And when I see that shadow of a snowman at the door, my heart is reminded of those lukewarm waters of Laodicea and of the sweet Savior standing at the door.
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
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