Saint for the day: Bean, Bishop (11th Century)
Ephesians 6:1-9 – Psalm 145 – Luke 13:22-30
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”(words from the beginning of today’s Holy Gospel according to St. Luke)
When Jesus is asked, “will many be saved?” His response was “strive to enter through the narrow gate because many will come knocking after the door has been closed and the response they receive is, “I do not know you!” I think that would be the worst thing to hear Jesus say to me: “I don’t know you!”
So, how do we gain this relationship with God/Jesus so that we are known to Him? If we look at things on the natural level we can see that we have to establish some kind of awareness or rapport with the people who control the gate. We learn their names; greet them when passing by; talk with them about pertinent matters. It all comes down to relationship and familiarity. If we never dialogue with God and have conversations with Him how do we expect that He will know who we are? The image of the Tax Collector and the publican in the Temple comes to mind: the Tax Collector’s attitude was presumptuous; the publican’s was humility. So honesty is key. And there must be some sort of on-going relationship that is built on that value of honesty.
To know that we need to be saved is the first step. We sometimes have a false quote of scripture and say, “God helps those who help themselves.” Well, that’s not to be found anywhere in scripture. In fact the actual quote is, “God helps those who have no one to help them.” So our first step in this response is to admit that we need God. We need Him to draw us to Himself. We need to be saved. We are not self-sufficient beings who can pull ourselves into Heaven by our own bootstraps! I know that this goes against the “American Way” of being self-sufficient and ‘doing it on our own.
So, our prayer must be, “I know that I need you, Lord. I believe in You. Help my unbelief.” It doesn’t hurt for us to say, like Peter, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.” Maybe our prayer should be, “I love you I love you. I love you!”