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Doors and Entrances


Doors are a big part of our lives. We use many kinds of doors every day. We lock doors, knock on doors, hold doors for others, see who is at our door, and open and shut doors more times than would want to count. Doors symbolize opportunity, protection, freedom, new beginnings, separation, privacy, and potential. We remember that in the story of the Three Little Pigs, there was a wolf at their door!
 
We can find numerous references to doors, gates, and other entrances in the Old and New Testaments. For example, in Psalm 100, verse 4 we are told how to enter through the temple door:
 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.

 
We should try to remember to praise and thank the Lord whenever we go through the entry of our parish church. How blessed we are to have our churches!
 
We celebrate the solemnity of the apostles Peter and Paul today. In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles (12:1-11), Peter is locked in prison, and guards keep watch at his prison door. Despite that, an angel comes and leads Peter safely out the door—an iron gate, that opened of its own accord—to leave the city. Another passage in this book records that Paul and his companion, Silas, were in prison in Philippi when an earthquake knocked down the gates. They did not flee the prison, and that led to the conversion of their jailor and the two disciples’ safe passage out of the city (16:25-40).
 
In Matthew’s Gospel (16:13-19), we read that the Church Jesus established upon the rock, Peter, will be strong; “…and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it” (v. 18b).
 
There is no question about it: doors or entrances will not stop the love and power of our Almighty God and Father. That is very reassuring! We often hear of standing before the “pearly gates” of heaven and hoping we can be admitted. We will need God’s tender mercy when we knock on heaven’s door.
 
In Deuteronomy 6, God commands Israel to love him above all things, with all of their strength, to teach the children those words, “and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (v.9). That verse inspired some simple everyday prayers that maybe we could all attach to our doors.
 
Front door prayer: Lord, bless me and my family, friends coming through this door; delivery persons doing their jobs, any strangers, rich or poor. Help me welcome everyone and pass along your peace, and whether I’m coming or going, may my love for you increase.
 
Back door prayer: Sometimes I’m not so formal; I’m more “back door” than the front! But, Lord, no matter how I am, help me be just what you want!
 
Medicine cabinet door prayer: I see toothpaste, floss and brushes, multivitamins and pills. I thank you, Lord, for healing me of my many little ills. Help keep me clean in every way, and make it always clear how I reflect your image when I look into this mirror.
 
Refrigerator door prayer: Lord, help me to be careful, to wisely stop and think, of how you want me to love myself in what I eat and drink. Thank you for my tastebuds, my senses and appetite. Help me to be generous with anyone who is hungry day and night.
 
Car door prayer: Lord, as I go for a ride in this car, keep me safe and secure, no matter how far. Protect me from danger and keep me alert, so I and my passengers will not get hurt. Thank you for all the fun journeys I’ve made, those rescues from close calls when I was afraid. Be the King of my car and the Lord of my tires. Remind me when my emission sticker expires!
 
(Bible quotes from the NRSV).
 
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.

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