I would go near thee- but I cannot press
Into thy presence–it helps not to presume.
Thy doors are deeds, the handles are their doing.
He whose day-life is obedient righteousness,
Who, after failure, or a poor success,
Rises up, stronger effort yet renewing–
He finds thee, Lord, at length, in his own common room.
–from Diary of an Old Soul by George McDonald
Deeds Are Doors by Alvin Rogness
The Lord has invited us to come to him. But how do we come? Martin Luther, in his Small Catechism, admitted that he couldn’t come to the Lord on his own. “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord, or come to him,” he wrote, then added “but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel.”
Would the Lord really invite us, knowing that we are not able to come? Strangely enough, he does. He wants us to learn two things: first, that in our self-centeredness, we, like Adam and Eve, are really running away from him; and second, that he is ready to help us come. Most of all, he wants us to know that he has already come and is standing at our door knocking. He is calling us through the gospel, the wonderful story of God’s love in Christ Jesus. In a profound sense we are drawn to him probably more than coming to him, if there is a difference.
We come by doing his will. Deeds open the door to him. By showing kindness to people in need, by working for good causes, by praying for others, by writing letters to lonely people or calling them–by doing these things we are in company with Jesus who is the servant of all.
“Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34).
Alvin Rogness (1906-1992) was president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, from 1955-1974.