The call has gone out to all nations. God calls the people to enter the gates, saying, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” (verse 24)
I picture a piece of art, shown in our Sunday school books, of Jesus, the shepherd, knocking on a door and waiting for it to be opened. This made quite an impression on me as a child. Who would make him wait at the door? We surely didn’t make people wait when they came to our home, and I couldn’t imagine making Jesus wait.
It became clearer to me later that not everyone would automatically open that door. There might be fear and mistrust of the person knocking. Through the guise of religion, people have been hurt by actions not wholesome and good. It happened to Aboriginal and Inuit children in residential schools. Perhaps it has happened other places as well, where people came with the gospel message and others were hurt in some way.
I’m glad to see reconciliation as part of our times. While it doesn’t wipe out what happened, perhaps there can be forgiveness so that we might enter those gates together one day.
Lord Jesus, we ask forgiveness for those times we have not acted in kindness. Help us to mend our ways and enter your gates with thanksgiving. Amen. — CRW