By Ellen Romer
I have a lot of keys. My apartment requires four, between front and back doors, mailbox and deadbolt. Keys to my office, the larger office I am in, the building I work in. Keys can be quite helpful. I locked myself out of my apartment by leaving my keys at my friend’s house. That was annoying. I needed them so that I could get in.
Losing keys sometimes isn’t just annoying, but it can make you feel unsafe. Keys keep others out. They give permission for some to enter and for others to be locked out. Whoever holds the keys decides who is let in. And in letting others in, we make ourselves vulnerable. Being vulnerable and open is scary. So often we just keep our doors locked so that we can be safe and untouched.
So Jesus, the Key of David, How much does God want to let us in? God wanted to let us in so much that God decided to be just like us. God wanted to be so vulnerable that coming as a baby was the way to go. A tiny little baby that needs someone else and has to let others in because that’s the only way to survive. Jesus, our God-with-us, shows us that when we have the power to keep every one out, the best thing to do is open ourselves and let everyone in to see us in our weakest, neediest, most vulnerable state.
How much do we follow this example? In seeing so many news stories, from Ferguson and Staten Island to memorials for Sandy Hook and bomb threats over a movie premiere, it seems that we don’t want to let anyone in. A callousness toward human life seems to pervade. Instead of just locked doors between us and other people, we now rely on guns and power to make us feel safe. We lock the door between ourselves and others, between God and ourselves. We lock ourselves in. How many of us are simply living in our own prisons because we are too afraid to go out?
Unlocking doors is scary. Opening ourselves up so others can see the pockmarks and scars on our hearts can be painful. Peeking around the door to see what God asks of us is nerve wracking. God has all the power and all the possibility and still chose to be tiny and helpless and in our hands. God hands over that power time and again, allowing us to make the same loving choice, to be open and needed and needy.
Who are the people in my life that I have closed the door to? When someone opens their door to me, how do I receive that offer? How do I hold their vulnerability? How as a Church can we better open doors? How can we make the world safer for the most vulnerable?
O Key of David, come and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.