As I prepped for this message a thought that reoccurred in my mind was the picture of a doorway, and of how when we see a doorway we naturally observe if the door is open or closed. A favorite memory of mine was at home on the farm and Grandma’s house which had a screen door on it. Oh how vividly I recall walking over in the mornings for a cup of coffee before Grandpa and I began work for the day, and at least once a week Grandma would be making oatmeal raisin cookies or some other delightful treat and the smell from the kitchen would be wafting through the screen door and even as I took my boots off on the porch I could smell my cookies baking. That screen door permitted both sight and smell in and out, and essentially called to anyone and everyone, “enter in!” In similar fashion, if the big white door behind the screen was closed, I knew my grandparents were not home or at least not ready to receive guests for the day. I would like us to reflect upon that idea and of how doors and doorways can be a symbol for us of opportunity—the door opened beckons us to enter, and the door closed indicates staying away. In this message we will learn of a ‘door opened’ and the result of this for the early church and for us.
To that end, our text this week is chapter 14 of the book of Acts, and a great way to prepare for worship will be to read this text through a couple of times and prayerfully consider the theme of an “open door.” This phrase appears at the close of the chapter (v. 27) and it is this idea we will build upon as we seek to understand the text for the early church and its application for today in our own lives and ministry.