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25 November 2020 2pm-3pm - Kettle's On
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Walking around Romsey Memorial Park the other day, I spotted something rather intriguing. At, or near the base of a number of trees, there had been fixed a small, brightly painted door, only a few inches tall.
I don’t know what these lovely little art-works represent, or who put them there, but they are evidently the work of children enjoying themselves in the open air, and giving passers-by something bright and joyful to think about! If you know where they come from, and what they ‘are’, do let me know!
These little doors reminded me of the story ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and how, when chasing a white rabbit wearing a waistcoat and carrying a large pocket-watch, she falls down the rabbit-hole at the base of a huge old tree! She finds herself in a small room with several doors but, as she finds out, only a tiny door actually leads anywhere.
She’s far too tall to fit through this door, but there’s a table on which is a piece of cake with a label attached saying, “eat me”. Alice eats some and, incredibly, begins to shrink! We know the story, don’t we. Alice, entering the tiny door, finds herself in the fantastical world of Wonderland.
What first comes to your mind of that world? Maybe the Cheshire cat and its enigmatic smile that remains after the cat itself disappears! Maybe the twin brothers, always arguing, Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum! Maybe it is the rather cruel game of croquet played by the Red Queen, using a flamingo as a mallet and a poor hedgehog as a ball! There are many memorable characters inhabiting that world including, of course the Hatter!
There is another door that comes to mind too. It is made memorable by the wonderful painting by the Victorian Pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt called ‘The Light of the World’. It features an image of Jesus standing by an overgrown and long-unopened door. It is dusk and Jesus holds a lantern as he knocks on the door. He wears the crown of thorns which has now sprung into new life with a growth of fresh leaves.
Holman Hunt was inspired by the Gospel verses of John 8:12 I am the Light of the World and Revelation 3:20:
See, I stand at the door and knock: if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me’.
Looking at the painting closely we see that there is no handle, latch or key on the outside. The door can only be opened by the person inside. The message is that, no matter how long it has been, no matter how ‘overgrown’ the door to our heart, Jesus knocks and patiently waits for us to hear his invitation and to respond by opening the door to him, allowing him to enter our lives, bringing his light into our darkness, and sharing with us the bread of life.
Thinking about Alice and her discovery through that tiny door of that fantastical world of Wonderland, Jesus invites us, through opening the door of our lives to His light, to share in the peace of God’s Kingdom which we glimpse in every little thing that brings warmth, love and joy to our lives.
Also, let Mike know if you have particular prayer requests (for yourself or others) in these challenging and uncertain times and If you would like to contribute a prayer, poem or reflection for the weekly Sunday service outline.