Pause for Thought: 4 March
Mind the Door
‘I am the Door; anyone who enters in through me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture’ (John 10:9, AB).
A previous guest contributor to Words of Life, Major Christine Clement, wrote that when she longs for peace after the assaults on her ears in the course of a day, she is relieved to close her front door on returning home. Doors define our spaces and keep things out or in. Windows offer a glimpse of what is happening, but doorways provide a place of transition, to cross over to the garden or the wider world. We pass through a doorway to be involved in what is on the other side. Doors allow coming and going, security and discovery, haven and adventure.
Some door decorations suggest welcome or celebration of a season. In his illustrated Doors, Val Clery states: ‘History, belief and custom impose character on doors as heredity imposes it on human faces.’
The Israelites may have been among the first to mark their doorways. In Exodus 12 the Lord’s instructions for the first Passover included putting blood from the slaughtered lambs on the sides and tops of the door frames of the houses where they ate the roasted lamb. Although death visited Egyptian homes that night, the blood on the doorways signalled that the destructive plague should pass over the homes of the Israelites. Almost immediately the hundreds of thousands of Israelites were expelled from Egypt and went out through those marked doors to a new freedom. At Passover Jewish families still retell the original events.
Christ said he was the door or gate to life. The slaying of lambs and sprinkling of blood at the first Passover foreshadowed the death of Christ in our stead as our Passover Lamb. We escape spiritual death and redemption by his substitutionary death on the cross. Herbert Booth reminds us to appropriate Christ’s cleansing personally:
Lord, through the blood of the Lamb that was slain,
Cleansing for me;
From all the guilt of my sins now I claim
Cleansing from thee.