Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 21st June 2023: Strive to enter through the narrow door!

Following Jesus Parable Luke 13

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 13

Anne in Bethlehem doorway

Friend coming through the tiny church door in Bethlehem.

Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ He said to them, ‘Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, “Lord, open to us”, then in reply he will say to you, “I do not know where you come from.” Then you will begin to say, “We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.” But he will say, “I do not know where you come from; go away from me, all you evildoers!” There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrown out. Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God. Indeed, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Have you ever had to get a large item of furniture up a flight of steep narrow stairs with a bend in it? In my experience at this point everyone has a say in how to achieve it. A voice says, "Turn it on its back!" and another, "No turn it sideways!" Someone else strikes up with "Move that picture!" or "Raise it up a little higher!" After a bit more effort and with no success, some bright spark will finally say, "What if we remove the legs?" The final result is the item may have to be sawn in half or found a home downstairs!

Jesus taught us, that we should "strive to enter through the narrow door". The word 'strive' is deceptive. We think of it in terms of trying to do something, whether it's climbing a hill, or getting furniture into the house. But in the original Greek the word is much stronger. It's at the root of the English word 'agony'.

This journey of ours as Christians is agony because to enter the narrow door means we shall have to shed all our baggage - everything that isn't needed - and that will be agonising. Also, the fact that we say we're a Christian isn't good enough to get us through the narrow door, nor is the list of our good works. Jesus calls his people into a relationship with God, a relationship of faith, that should deepen and grow over the years, as we struggle to follow His commands. Then one day God will greet us with words of welcome!


Lord God,
You call us to strive
with every fibre of our being
to follow Your ways;
to discard all that is unimportant baggage,
and to draw closer to You.
All too often we get trapped
in the dross of life
and fail to lift our heads,
and ask for Your guidance.
May we never forget
that we are first and foremost
called into a close relationship with You.

Follow Up Thoughts

You may like to learn more:

Or play this traditional hymn by William Cowper and sung by the congregation of Llanelli Free Evangelical Church, or Mario Lanza's famous song:

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