Luke 13: 22-30
The Narrow Door
22 Then Jesus taught in one town and village after another as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He told them, 24 “Keep on struggling to enter through the narrow door, because I tell you that many people will try to enter, but won’t be able to do so. 25 After the homeowner gets up and closes the door, you can stand outside, knock on the door, and say again and again, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will answer you, ‘I don’t know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will tell you, ‘I don’t know where you come from. Get away from me, all you who practice evil!’ 28 In that place there will be crying and gnashing of teeth[e] when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves being driven away on the outside. 29 People will come from east and west, and from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. 30 You see, some who are last will be first, and some who are first will be last.
Will there be a big crowd at the “door”, .. will I come in? Where is this door and what should I do to get in? Make me thin and squat in, push the others with elbows on the side? – Would probably be too realistic and human thought, if this door would be a door, as we would have in our apartment, our house. … No, this door is the symbol of what I accomplish in life, how I behave, how I face others as well as myself. Am I willing to love others, to forgive them, if they have hurt me, offended me? How do I behave? Do I want to fight back, take revenge, go for total rejection of the other? But there is the door of the door. How can I get through this? Do not I just try it and leave it as it is? Is it me who – or who – has offended me, worth trying again to get together on a loving basis? Some remain in hate, unreconciled, forge revenge plans. This is how hell on earth is created – enmity, a loveless, joyless world, far from what God teaches us. Whoever succeeds in going through this door of forgiveness will see how happy a true reconciliation is. Heaven and hell do not decide at the end of our lives, but are the result of a constant effort to discard our selfishness, the heavy baggage of our self-will. That’s when things get tight, because being humble and approaching others is not easy. The “crowd” that one imagines as a human being, the crush that will prevail at the narrow door, is the personal stumbling and fighting that everyone has to negotiate with themselves. Everyone is responsible for struggling to forgive someone, to help someone there, to lend an ear when someone wants to pour out their hearts – even if they think they have no time for it now. But .. God’s time is not ours, he expects us, if we spend the time for someone, while we would rather like to sit alone on the sofa. Often it becomes “tight”, time is lacking, time is pressing – what do we do with our existence? .. “We are only guests on earth and wander without rest with many complaints to the eternal home”. Heaven and hell decide every day, not just at the end of life. Through the narrow door we have to squeeze daily. But it can not be done without God’s help. So we ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten and empower us to do daily that will ultimately allow us to pass through the narrow gate to participate in the Lord’s Table.