Our church is now a composite of three churches being the host church in a merge with another small country church. Both congregations believed they would be more effective together. Prior to that by several years, the host church had been on the receiving end of another merge brought on by a tornado destroying a neighboring church building.
Several years ago, it became necessary to update to meet requirements of the American Disabilities Act. After much study and prayer, it was decided to put in an elevator. There are eight steps from the entry up to the sanctuary, and a few more than that from the entry to basement level. Now, being able to access the basement is vital because that is where fellowship meals are held. Oh! There are other things, too, like Sunday school and restrooms, but getting to the meals is vital! Of course, the elevator is available to any and all who have need.
When we first started attending there, the elevator was offered regularly, I suppose because we are “old,” but nobody used it.
A couple of Sundays ago, I asked for that service, as I had a shoulder repaired earlier in the week and wasn’t feeling like going up those eight steps. I was greeted at the top by my pastor, who opened the door for me. Nice! But not something I needed on a regular basis as yet.
My intention was to walk down the steps after service. That’s a lot easier that climbing up! But a crew was graciously awaiting my arrival so they could provide the elevator service. I couldn’t offend them, so I entered.
Now, unlike most elevators with which I am acquainted, the only controls inside this car are for choice of level. There is no “open/close” for the door. That is done outside the car.
I rode to ground level and watched through the door for someone to come and let me out. I saw many people. But no one seemed interested in the elevator or me! Those who had loaded me at the upper level had gotten involved in conversations and were unaware of my need.
Finally, I realized I had been forgotten and would need to make myself known. Reaching through the gate, I knocked on the door. Those people I had seen? They just continued on their personal missions while I knocked on a metal door, apparently making very little noise.
I had best study this through. Well, my roommate had ridden with me that morning and the car keys were in my pocket. She couldn’t leave without me, so sooner or later I would be missed. That gave a little relief.
I continued to knock on the door.
After what seemed like a half hour, but was probably less than five minutes, one of the men visiting in the foyer, came over and peeked in! Aha! I’d been found! I don’t believe those who so lovingly loaded me in that car for the downward trip ever knew what had happened.
There’s another door we each need to have opened for us – heaven’s “pearly gates”! The only One Who can open that door is Jesus Christ Himself. He paid the price. He holds the key. Our only requirement is to invite Him into our hearts. Have you done so?