Does Jesus do Drive Thru?

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Does Jesus do drive thru?

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 him, and he with me.Revelation 3:20 (NIVA)

These are familiar words in the church, the source of artistic inspiration (not least Holman Hunt’s ‘Light of the world’) and the basis of the evangelists appeal that non-believers open their heart’s long unopened door to Jesus.

But it is the sort of meal that is to be eaten which is my focus – I will come in and eat.

William Barclay’s commentary on the text describes three possible meals that might be eaten in the daily life of the first century world; these could be described in our times as follows.

The morning toast and coffee – translated from 1st century Greek akratisma a brief meal of dried bread dipped in wine

The lunchtime sandwich eaten at the desk whilst replying to emails - translated from 1st century Greek ariston the midday picnic meal

The evening meal shared at home with loved ones and friends – translated from 1st century Greek deipnon the main meal of the day over which people lingered for the work of the day was done.

Apparently the Greek word used tells us it is the third meal that is on offer when Jesus knocks, not a meal to be eaten on the run, nor a meal that sees us mindlessly munching whilst concentrating on the pressing events of the day but the savoured meal with friends. A meal where the past can be reviewed, the future discussed whilst present in the moment.

So Jesus probably doesn’t do a drive thru - at least not in this context. When Jesus knocks on our door it is his time he is offering and our time that he is after. Time understood both as Chronos, passing time and as Kairos, a moment in time when the significant happens. We who are Christian will have swung open the door to Jesus at a Kairos moment that welcomed his arrival and leads to the Chronos passing of time together.

As this verse of the Bible is found within a letter to a lukewarm Christian church we who are Christian may need to listen to Jesus’ desire not only to come in but to come and spend time with us, to linger over the evening meal, where the past can be reviewed, the future discussed whilst present in the moment; maybe wondering who is the host and who the guest.

A prayer

Lord of the feast

Bread of life

Welcome

Linger

With

us

 

Revd Nick Harris

 


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