“I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:9-10, NRSVUE)
While leading an embodied lectio divina activity a few years ago, I asked a group of young adults to freeze a scene in the story where some pharisees throw at Jesus a woman who was allegedly caught in adultery. When the scene was sculpted with the woman centered and two people on either side of her, someone from behind, and Jesus kneeling in front, someone made the observation, “I see a vulnerable woman with walls on three sides of her. Where she expects a fourth wall, she finds a door.”
Jesus is the door where we expect a wall. The Spirit offers second chances when we expect dead ends. God makes a way when there seemingly is no way. Not a plan you must follow, but a gate that allows for coming and going. Not a ticket into the afterlife, an invitation to be made well, whole, complete. Not a short guest list, but an abundance of love for anyone who wishes to enter. Not a field fenced in with barbed wire and rigid requirements, but a wide pasture for nourishment, security, and delight, with room for all.
Prayer: God the gate, welcome us into your pasture where we’re free to live abundantly with the gift to be who we are and the blessing to become who you’re nurturing us to be. May that abundantly good life start now and lead us to our ultimate home in your love. Amen.
Rev. Jeremy Bork is the Director of Programming & Communications at Mount Olivet Conference & Retreat Center, an ordained minister in the RCA, and a spiritual director in training. He lives in Minneapolis with his husband Ian and their two cats Richie and Fern.