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Hello Philadelphia, What Did You Do With The Open Door Christ Set Before You?

Naturally, the zip code of their ultimate gated community is a secret, so I am not holding my breath to get a letter back from them. Therefore, my “splurgin’-on-Spurgeon” habit would be a better bet to unpack Revelation 3:8, which reads, “I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

With Thanksgiving in the air at this writing, I feel obliged to check with Uncle Roy first. My Swiss husband-to-be Fred arrived in New York in November 1954, just in time for the celebration. His boss and wife took him to a ritzy restaurant in the Hudson Valley for his first ever taste of roast turkey. He hated it … and having to watch them eat steak and ham. Nevertheless, these good people enticed him to join them in Los Angeles, having finished his two-year stint in the U.S. Army. They had friends who invited Fred to stay with them until he was situated. Their downstairs neighbors were Roy and Nita Gibson, a childless couple, who had a friend nearby. After Fred and I got married in Hollywood in 1959, we soon made all these – and more – into our extended family before we even had completed our own with three kids. I loved to put on scrumptious Thanksgiving feasts and sending leftovers home with our guests. The military had Americanized my hubby sufficiently to turn him into a turkey and stuffing lover.

Eventually, Father Time and Mother Nature altered the landscape as is their wont, and in the end, we were the caretakers of the last survivor, widowed Uncle Roy, moving him into a nursing home near us. On day one he casually walked out, looking like a handsome and sharply dressed visitor. Two days later we walked in and were relieved when he happily gave us a tour of the facility. Strolling along a hallway, we saw doors opened to most patients’ rooms and were amazed at what Uncle Roy saw. He pointed out horses and farms, fields and woods. His dementia caused him to visualize scenes from his youth and relish happy memories. Charles Spurgeon’s take on Christ’s open door is biblically sound, but after letting him have his say, I will pull an Uncle Roy switch. “All who remain faithful to Christ will have an open door before them. They shall have...access to God before them in private, an open door of usefulness before them in public. In private, God will hear them; in public he will use them.”

Well, while moving along a stretch of predictive literature, I was drawn to some intriguing sights thanks to the open doors of Revelation 5:8 and 8:5. (Do forget the Four Horses of the Apocalypse!) In the first image I glimpsed “golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” In the latter, that stored prayer power fueled by fire from the altar, is unleashed on the earth and makes for thunder, lightning, and earthquakes. Don’t let this scary-sounding apocalyptic imagery throw you for a loop. Back up two verses and rejoice that “the prayers of the saints” pack the kind of punch that, fueled with heavenly power, fulfill God’s holy purposes at His perfect time. Does it make sense then, to embrace the OPEN DOOR OF THE PRAYERS OF THE SAINTS?

Vreni Schiess


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