Knock, Knock

June 6, 2016
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Revelation 3:20 – Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. (NIV 2011)

My grandparents in England had a parlour at the front of their house that was never used. It contained their best furniture and their most valued knick-knacks. Although the room was dusted, it wasn't heated. It was cold and uninviting. Its purpose was for a funeral gathering, or in case the vicar happened to call. (He didn't.) An unexpected guest might be invited to perch on an uncomfortable chair and perhaps sip tea from a dainty cup. The idea was for the guest to leave as soon as possible. Visitors were supposed to believe that the rest of the house was just as nice. (It wasn't.) The room was a façade. It gave an outward appearance that was false.

Wealthy owners often left their property in the hands of servants who were expected to look after everything whether the owner was in residence or not. It wasn't an easy job. If the owner was away, servants didn't know when he would return. There were no telephones. He might have a journey of several days, with many unexpected delays. Whenever he returned, day or night, he expected food on the table, his bed aired, floors swept, and gardens cared for. He expected a good report from his neighbours, because his reputation was important. Servants must be trustworthy and faithful, and know their place. The house was their home, but it didn't belong to them. They were servants, not the master.

Imagine the owner's dismay and anger if he arrived to find his servants partying and his property dirty and neglected, or if he were shown into the cold, uncomfortable parlour to wait while his servants madly raced around the house trying to make up for lost time.

The famous picture of Jesus knocking at a vine-covered door is fascinating because there is no handle. Jesus waits patiently to be invited in. Do those inside hear Him knocking faintly, or has the party grown too loud? Have they become so engrossed in their own business that they no longer hear? Did they once catch a glimpse of Him through the window, but the windows grew so dirty that they no longer look?

Or do we sit politely with Him in the cold parlour, pretending that our house is just fine, thank you. He's not welcome to come in any further. We don't invite Him to join us for a meal. That would be too intimate, and we're just not ready.

We can delay too long. The Master already knows what's on the other side of the door. We can't hide anything from Him. Today, let's throw the door wide open, and stop pretending. Let's welcome Him in, and trust Him to clean up the mess in our lives.

Prayer: Lord, forgive me for shutting You out. Whilst doing so, I've locked myself in. Come in and set me free. I need You to make my life fresh and new, the way You want it to be. Come into my heart today. Amen.

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About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <>
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    A very interesting analogy. Thank you!

    Wow, that was beautifully written! So so true, thank you.

    An interesting perspective ~ really makes us take a hard look at ourselves. Thank you.

    Thank you JJ for this timely reminder to be diligent about the Lord’s business. Blessings.

    I did enjoy reading your devotional today. Thank-you for sharing.
    Blessings on your day!

    Good morning, and thank you for sharing from your family’s experience. This has cast new light on a familiar passage! God bless and keep you!

    I really enjoyed your devotional today. The imagery of Christ knocking, but not having a door knob, and of him sitting delicately in the parlor … but being asked to come no further … were so appropriate. Thanks for sharing. God Bless.

    Thanks for your inspiring devotional this morning. I remember vaguely a front room in our house in England that was seldom used either. We moved to Canada when I was 10 yrs old. Great analogy. Look forward to seeing more devotionals from you. Blessings.

    Good Afternoon Ms. Ollerenshaw:
    I loved your message and the fact that it brought back wonderful memories for me.
    I was but 12 years old when my minister preached a great message to our Youth Group centered around the beautiful illustration of Christ standing at the door which could be opened only from the inside.
    It was that evening I surrendered my young heart and life to my Lord, promising Him I would love and trust Him forever.
    Thank you for, once again, reminding me, we truly must be still and answer the call of Christ leaving the party crowd behind, but not forgetting to introduce them to a loving Master who will be their loyal friend forever.

    Fancy parlours were also in homes here if you could afford it. I am 81 Our family (on a farm in Ontario) were too poor to have an unused parlour but a few neighbours had one. I worked at 14 as a mother’s helper. One of my jobs was to clean and dust the PARLOUR which was used on Sunday. It did have a stove — either a wood stove or oil heater. Oil heaters were coming in then for slightly used rooms. Anyway I cleaned the room for them on Friday. They used the parlour every Sunday. Apparently they had quite a bit of company. So unlike some other neighbours who only used the parlour for the minister. The main place to visit on the farm especially in winter was the kitchen which would be warm and quite large. The people who really wanted to show people they really were SOMEBODY would have a fancy cold parlour.

    Thanks JJ for a good word this morning. My grandparents also had one of those “front rooms,” as they called it.

    Thank you for a well-written piece with a deep and meaningful analogy. I never noticed that there was no handle in that famous picture. Please keep writing these thought-provoking devotionals!

    This was such an evocative devotional, JJ. I too had grandparents in the UK, and I know just what you’re talking about!
    Thank you for the devotional.

    Hi JJ,
    I enjoyed your comments about the fancy room. The farmers in the Netherlands used to have one of those as well, so I was told. Only used on Sundays.
    Enjoyed your devotional.

    Dear JJ Ollerenshaw,
    Thank you for the devotional.
    Keep writing.

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