My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True Lord, God, and Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice
and opens the door, I WILL COME IN TO HIM AND DINE WITH HIM,
AND HE WITH ME” [Revelation 3:0].
Human freedom of the soul is represented by the door that stays shut, even to God Himself. It is the Creator Who is the absolute owner of the hearts,though even God Himself stands outside. This is so profound! God stands outside of a person’s heart. Here one can plainly see how much God reveres HUMAN FREEDOM.
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ merely knocks at the door. He DOES NOT FORCE THE DOOR OF THE HUMAN SOUL AND HUMAN FREEDOM. [This “I keep knocking, krouo,” is in the present tense in the Greek language, which shows continuous action.] “I KEEP KNOCKING” shows the persistence of Divine Love (Agape). Saint Andrew of Caesarea says, “My presence is unforceful.” Our Savior and God, says, I KEEP KNOCKING AT THE DOOR AND TO THOSE THAT OPEN, I SHARE IN THE JOY OF THEIR SALVATION. “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,” and here we see our Lord Christ IS PATIENTLY AWAITING THE HUMAN RESPONSE. The voice of Christ my beloved friends, is heard only BY THOSE WHO BELONG TO CHRIST, ONLY BY THOSE WHO HAVE A GOOD DISPOSITION. Only people open their hearts with joy. They open the door of their hearts to Jesus Christ. “And I will enter in to him, and I will dine with him, and he with Me.” What a magnificent display, which shows how close, how very close God wants to be with His people.
Our Almighty God wants to live within our house, THE HOUSE OF OUR HEART, to be with us. Despite the tepidness of the bishop of Laodicea, the Lord speaks with great tenderness, with much love and closeness. This is the Banquet of God’s Kingdom; and this Banquet while on earth IS THE GREAT MYSTERY (SACRAMENT) OF THE DIVINE EUCHARIST. “And the Logos/Word of God Himself said he who eats My flesh stays in Me and I in him. I will come in and dine with him and he with Me” [Revelation 3:20]. It is also the Great Banquet of God’s Kingdom in the age to come, which is the Eternal Vision of the Person of Jesus Christ. The conclusion serves to end not only this Epistle (Letter), this great epistle so strong in reproval and tenderness, but also all the other epistles (letters). It serves as general conclusion. “To him who overcomes,” [to him who is victorious] “I will grant to sit with Me on My Throne as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His Throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches.”
So, who is the victorious one? The victorious one IS THE ONE WHO DEFEATS THESE THREE THINGS: THE WORLD, HIS PASSIONATE SELF, AND THE DEVIL. He who wins against these THREE GREAT TEMPTATIONS IS INVITED TO SIT WITH CHRIST ON THE ETERNAL THRONE OF HIS GLORY AND BLESSEDNESS DURING THE ABSOLUTE AND FINAL TRIUMPH OF CHRIST AND THE FINAL TRIUMPH OF THE FAITHFUL AS WELL.
God stands in front of the door of human existence and wants to establish A WORKING RELATIONSHIP. Where are all those idealists who believe and say that it does not seem proper for the Divine Highness of God, to get involved with the lowliness and the misery of the human being? At this exact point, WE DISCOVER THE DIVINE IMMENSITY THAT COMES, REACHING ALL THE WAY, DRAWING NEAR TO EACH HUMAN EXISTENCE; “I stand knocking at the door.” [Source: Homilies on the Book of the Revelation, Vol. One]
“I will… dine with him” IF THERE IS COOPERATION (SYNERGY), the synergy of an open “door.” Because God does not force anyone to cooperate with Him. He keeps knocking, awaiting a response from us. The one who cooperates with God “overcomes,” or conquers. Those who listen to God’s rebuke and chastening (v. 19) and conquer lukewarmness become “hot” in their SPIRITUAL LIVES (vv. 15, 16). Those who share Christ’s trials will share His Table and His “Throne” in His Kingdom (Luke 22:30; 2 Timothy 2:12).
God is seen in biblical visions as sitting on a “throne,” a symbol of His Sovereign Lordship (Matthew 23:22). The image of this throne occurs over 40 times in the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) an is further described as “a great white throne” (20:11), a throne of Judgment. But in chapter 4:3, His throne is surrounded by “a rainbow,” the sign of God’s Everlasting Covenant according to which He will NOT judge man again as He did at the Flood (Genesis 9:12-17). Mercy triumphs over judgment (Matthew 9:13). Thus in the Orthodox Church the Altar Table is sometimes called “THE THRONE.”
No sincere and committed Orthodox Christian should ignore to open the door of his/her heart to Our Beloved Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. If he or she is a practicing Christian will be alert and sensitive to hear the knocking. If one’s faith is dead, then he or she will not be able to hear the sound of His knocking. The believers of Christ should be spiritual healthy to hear His knocking at all times. But who is spiritually healthy? The Christian who is obedient to Christ’s commands, His Teachings, the person who has a prayer life, the person who has a sacramental life (receives Holy Communion often after participating in the sacrament of Repentance and Confession), a person who abides with the Christian values and lives a virtuous life, the person who repents, a person who is humble, a person who is kind and compassionate, a person who is full of love, a person who loves God and all of God’s children on earth, a person who forgives his/her enemies, a person who fasts, a person who keeps the Lord’s Day, a time for worship.
We must not be enslaved by the worldly cares or concerns of life. Our life here on earth is brief and all of us are passing through quickly. Death can come upon us without any warning therefore we must spiritually prepared. There is no repentance after death. Repentance (Gk. Metanoia) means change of mind but also a change of a way of life. Just as we strive to grow and improve ourselves intellectually, physically, emotionally, and psychologically, we must also grow and progress spiritually. It is imperative that we, as Orthodox Christians, know as much as it is humanly possible of Who Christ is and what He means to us personally. The attentive Orthodox Christian understands that the Holy Bible (Scripture) is extremely important to accomplish that goal. You begin slowly and prayerfully to study the word of God. If you need assistance turn to your parish priest for help. There are the holy writings of the holy Fathers and Mothers of the Church and the Lives of the Saints. Every Orthodox Christian ought to have an Orthodox Prayer Book which contains prayers for different occasions.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. Amen.
“Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Divine and Glorious (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God