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The Light of the World

by | Oct 27, 2021 | Relationship, Salvation

On a visit to London, England, a friend escorted me to a number of historical and popular sites, one being St. Paul’s Cathedral.  A heroic survivor of the WW II Blitz, and site of the 1981 royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, the beautiful cathedral was full of sightseers.  My particular interest was to see the world famous painting, The Light of the World, by pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman, a larger version of the original 1853 painting.  Ship owner and social reformer Charles Booth commissioned this second, larger painting in 1904, donating it to St. Paul’s Cathedral.  There, it has been seen by many thousands, and the artwork has inspired musical works such as Arthur Sullivan’s 1873 oratorio, “The Light of the World”.

The painting is a representation of Revelation 3:20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.” (ESV)  A robed Christ with halo, bearing a lantern which illumines His dear face, stands before a planked, wooden door, covered with vines and undergrowth, long unopened.  The door has no handle; it must be opened from the inside.  And Jesus, knocks quietly but insistently.  Holman wrote, “I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good subject”; the handle-less door representing “the obstinately shut mind”.

The Lord Jesus calls to the hearts of lukewarm believers, asking to come in and have dinner, that is, to share a warm and intimate fellowship with them.  Doesn’t He have the right to bash down that door, or enter in some other way?  However, He chooses to call to each person’s heart, by showing mercy and providing for us, by sometimes allowing judgment and discipline, and by encouraging us through Scripture, the testimony of faithful believers, and by His Holy Spirit.  The one who opens the door to Jesus repents of personal pride, self-reliance, dependency on human wisdom, and lukewarm faith.

The words of Revelations 3:20 were written to half-hearted Christians living in the trade-wealthy city of Laodicea, but are just as meaningful to people of today.  Jesus offers this great invitation to share in a life-long personal fellowship and relationship; it is not a courtesy call!  I pray you will hear His call to you today, and welcome in the heavenly Guest to share in your life and home.

Prayer:  Thank you, dear Lord, that You love us so much that You know each heart intimately, and yet wait patiently for us to open the door to You.  We pray that you will use our testimony as Your faithful believers to cause many more to open the doors of their hearts to You.  Amen.

Shirley Moulton

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