One of Jesus “I Am” statements in the Gospel of John is from John 10:7, “I am the door of the sheep.” To enter the protection of the sheepfold, Jesus is the door which is open to those who know his voice and by entering is saved.
In his sermon on Good Shepherd Sunday, Nathan, our son, took us back to the previous chapter where Jesus gives to a man born blind. Jesus smeared mud on the man’s eyes, sent him to wash in the pool of Siloam and the man came back seeing. If he thought everyone else would be overjoyed with the man’s new found sight and Jesus who had opened his eyes to the light, well he had another think coming. Suddenly nobody seemed to know him. Some of his neighbors weren’t sure he was the man who had been blind. The Pharisees grill him with questions about who had done this on the sabbath, yet. His parents didn’t step in to defend and support their son. Finally, he was thrown out of the community in which he had always lived.
Yes, sometimes the church is not a welcoming community and is blind to Jesus working among them. Yet Jesus is present in his community, in the Word, in Baptism, in Holy Communion. He is present as the resurrected Savior. He is the door who welcomes all who believe and through whom those who enter will find life and “have it abundantly.”