Come to me, Lord, I will not speculate how,
Nor think at which door I would have thee appear,
Nor put off calling till my floors be swept,
But cry, “Come, Lord, come any way, come now.”
Doors, windows, I throw wide, my head I bow,
And sit like someone who so long has slept
That he knows nothing till his life draws near.
–from Diary of an Old Soul by George McDonald
LORD, SIMPLY COME by Alvin Rogness
God has not asked that we be perfect, or even religious. We need meet no standard of saintliness before he will come. He only asks that we let him come. At first thought, this seems too easy. Does he make no judgment between good and evil? Would he have come to a Nero, or a Genghis Khan, or a Hitler? He did come to a Paul while Paul was still hating Christians and stalking them to their deaths.
There is something preposterous about God wanting us at all. None of us is good through and through. We are a motley company for a holy God. We despoil his earth, and we often ignore or despise one another. The strange story of the Bible, which we call the gospel, is the good news that God is so greedy to have us that God sent his only Son to die in an effort to reclaim us.
No religion in all the world is quite as audacious as the Christian faith. All other religions imply that only by a good life does a person invite the presence of God. One’s house had better be cleansed of sin before a God will deign to take up residence.
Whatever unsavory crowd we may be entertaining–greed, pride, lust–if we are earnest us about having the Lord as an honored guest and friend, He will help us evict the intruders. Once they begin to leave, we will know a peace than only the Lord can give.
“Behold, I stand at the I door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Alvin Rogness (1906-1992) was president of Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, from 1955-1974.