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The thing with feathers

The reclusive poet, Emily Dickinson, penned these famous words about hope:

 Hope is the thing with feathers -

That perches in the soul -

And sings the tune without the words -

And never stops - at all -

 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -

And sore must be the storm -

That could abash the little Bird

That kept so many warm -

 

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -

And on the strangest Sea -

Yet - never - in Extremity,

It asked a crumb - of me.


In Revelation 4:1the symbol before us is not a bird, but an open door.  But 
just as Dickinson’s bird isn’t just any bird, John’s door isn’t any door—it’s one 
that is standing open in heaven.

Doors are about access. If a door is shut, entrance is denied. If it is open, it is an invitation to step through to whatever is on the other side. In this case, it’s not heaven per say (the door is “in heaven” rather than “to heaven”), but what is going on in heaven. As we’ll see, it’s access to the Father, Son, and Spirit. It’s an inside look at what is happening on the throne that rules the universe. Just as chapters 2-3 went past appearances to provide us with an intimate look at the seven churches, so John is going to take us past all the speculation about heaven and show us what is really going on there.

The open door then is a door of hope. It is exactly what John’s readers needed to see as they were about to go through their own chilling and strange times relative to Rome and Domitian.  It is exactly what we need to see as well. As we step through it our hearts will be assured and our steps secured to live deeper, nobler, richer lives for the One who died and lives for us.

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