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Posts Tagged ‘enter’

What does it mean “to enter?” I guess there has to be a designated portal or opening, a path or direction. Entering implies leaving. Entering also implies that an observation is made from the inside, coming in.

Hebrews 10:19-20a; 22
Therefore, brothers [and sisters], since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, . . . let us draw near to God with a sincere heart . . .

I remember, back in Indianapolis, I was asked to pledge a high school sorority of some notoriety because it was made up of girls from three separate north side high schools. It had a very long history, apparently as far back as the 1930’s and, based on a cursory Internet search, it was still around in the 90’s. I only mention it because it was the first time I experienced the power of the word, “Enter.” Like most of these types of organizations, there was great hierarchy between the members and the pledges. There were many rules and a lot of “etiquette,” for lack of a better term. And one of the requirements before each pledge could come into a room of members, she had to ask permission to enter. I will never forget that feeling of being made to wait to “enter.”

Another strong memory about entering is from the theatre. There is nothing that can compare with the first entrance onto a stage. There are jitters and nerves, there are fears and expectations, as well as a zillion other feelings. To enter from the sidelines and into the performing area, is literally, like leaving one existence to penetrate another.

The Most Holy Place is not just a place where God hangs out sometimes. This is where God is all the time in a unique and accessible way. This IS God.

In Old Testament times, the “Most Holy Place” was only entered once a year, and then with grave and solemn preparations, including bells on the priest’s robe to insure the people could hear him moving around (some even said a cord was tied to his ankle to drag him out if he died in there – but this is not fully substantiated). That High Priest was the only one who could enter. That was the Law.

Then, a new way comes along and through the single sacrifice of the Christ: all could (and can) enter, all could (and do) have access, all (could and can) engage God in a personal and unique way.

Here’s the sad part: most of us don’t know how to stay there. Legally, through the work of Christ and our faith in the process, we’re in. But we don’t stay in. We act like high school sorority pledges who stand and wait until someone calls us in (perhaps through a Sunday morning worship service or particularly moving sermon or song). We stand like actors and actresses waiting in the wings for our “cue.” We forget about the freedom.

One of our family dogs, a black lab mix, is totally goofy. From the first day we adopted her (at about 4 months), she was afraid of doors and entrances. We had to coax and dangle treats and demonstrate over and over again that no harm would come to her. Finally, she would come in (or go out), and everything was fine. . . until the next time. And we’d have to start all over again.

Humans act the same way; bona fide Christ followers and yet we still stand at the entrance and wait, afraid to enter because it’s not familiar, it’s so unlike “here,” it’s Godspace. We forget the new and living way.

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