Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
-Matthew 7:7-8, NIV
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 that person, and they with me.
-Revelation 3:20, NIV
Happy New Year and have a blessed 2022! As a life long Presbyterian, I struggled for the first two thirds of my life to believe that our God could be relational. I just could not comprehend or understand how “you have a friend in Jesus”. I also struggled with the concept of the Trinity as one God in three persons. As I entered the last third of my life with a third child, new home, new job and the departure of my Father, I found myself for the first time in my life down on my knees regularly in prayer to God. I also found myself doing daily devotions, earnestly reading scripture, praying regularly as I started to “knock” at God’s door more frequently with life’s challenges. God even sent me a Trinity prayer that I have prayed daily ever since. I was and have always been a believer, but I still was not a Jesus follower and still did not have a personal relationship with God.
The origin of the word relation is from Latin, relationem “a bringing back, restoring; a report, proposition”. Over the last nine years, by being in small groups like The Shepherds, reading and studying scripture and praying, I was restored by the Holy Spirit into a personal relationship with Jesus. While most of us know that during Christmas time, that Jesus is also called Emmanuel or “God with us”, it was in a small group that I learned that Jesus who spoke in Aramaic is Yeshua with means “Yahweh Saves”. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”. “Sheep" means to follow someone else, and to follow someone else means you don't have the capability to lead the party. Basically meaning you're copying someone else and taking their knowledge of something and doing it the same way. By acknowledging to myself that I was a sheep, it was the key to opening up that personal relationship with Jesus. I was able to begin to model Jesus and his relationships in my life. While I “knocked” at God’s door for along time, I now find Jesus “knocking” at my door and fulfilling the scriptures. In modeling Jesus, we too are Shepherds and called to go find the lost sheep and bring them home to God.