Spend a few minutes with the above photo. To see more detail you may want to expand it by clicking on it. What do you notice? What are your eyes drawn toward? Pay attention to the carvings in the wood. The leafy branches. The rooster handle. The glass window. What might God be trying to say to you through this image? What does your imagination anticipate you would see if you were to open the door?
Jesus said to his disciples, “I assure you: I am the door [gate] of the sheep…If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.” Additionally, in his book, Silence and Beauty, Makoto Fujimura shares some insights into beauty from a Japanese philosopher. “[T]he ideogram of “beauty” is made up of the sacrificial sheep on top of an ideogram for ‘great,’ which I infer means ‘greater sheep.’ It connotes a greater sacrifice…This greater sacrifice may require sacrifice of one’s own life to save the lives of others…This is what is truly beautiful.” 1
How have you experienced a connection between sacrifice and beauty in your own life? How might accepting the invitation of an open door require a sacrifice on your part? How might it be a sacrifice on the part of the one extending the invitation? Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us, his sheep. Have you or will you accept his open door invitation? Where in your life might he still be extending invitations to pass the threshold?______________________________________________________________
1 Tomonobu Imamichi, “Poetry and Ideas,” Doyo Bijutsu 2, no. 114 (1994): 42, cited in Makoto Fujimura, Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering (Downers Grove, IVP Books, 2016), p. 66.