We spend lots of time going through doors. Doors to our homes, doors to the rooms in our houses, doors to our workplaces, doors to our schools, doors to our cars, doors to the store. Depending on the size of the doors and the size of the objects that need to go through them, the passage through could be very easy or quite difficult.
In the Gospel, Jesus says, “Strive to enter through the narrow door (Luke 13:22-30).” The narrow door is life in Jesus Christ. This is the life that calls us to go through the narrow doors of facing the challenges of our lives. These are the doors we prefer did not even exist, like the doors to death, grief, tragedy, illness or crisis. Going through these narrow doors means a willingness to face life’s painful realities instead of going through the tempting wider doors of denial, escape into frenetic activity or numbing ourselves through alcohol, drugs or social media.
The narrow door is the door of Jesus’ self-giving love instead of the wider door of self-centeredness. The narrow door is trusting in God when there is not much evidence that we should, or having courage when every ounce of ourselves wants to retreat into fear. The narrow door is forgiveness instead of the wider door of resentment and vengeance. The narrow door is an expanded radius of concern that goes beyond our personal relationships and extends to the bigger world of the materially poor or marginalized.
The great truth about the narrow door of life in Jesus is that this is the door that helps us get through the narrow doors of our lives. Faced with the option of entering the easiest door to get through or the door through which we can barely squeeze, the temptation is to choose the wider, more comfortable door.
Instead of rushing to go through the wider doors, we do better to consider what the narrow doors of our life’s challenges are at this very moment. How might the narrow door of Jesus’ way take us through these doors?
Together in faith,
The Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector