“My Lord, if I have now found favour in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.” (Genesis 18,3) and Jesus Christ our Lord says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
Here Abraham is seeing three strangers coming by his tented camp in Mamre. They are on a godly mission to Sodom. Important business. Urgent issues must be set straight and in order. Things that have gone wrong need correction – even with fire from heaven. Abraham as gracious and friendly host urges them to stay and visit with him. He does, what hospitable orientals do. He gives them a place to rest, good food to restore their spirits and takes a lively interest in their mission. He, who is the master over many serves these strange foreigners most kindly – and unwittingly he accommodates the divine angels – and in them the triune God himself: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
There’s quite enough reason for poor, miserable sinners to doubt, whether the living God of all and Lord of Lord’s would really have time for us on the edge and beyond. Poor people don’t feature high on the agenda of those, who are high and mighty. Yet like the blind man, we know that we really do need his attention if we should keep any semblance of hope for help whatsoever. If he wouldn’t care and look on us with unrelenting favour, then our situation would be truly dismal and hopeless really for what can we dismal creatures really do to lengthen just one of our days or improve the quality of our lives even fractionally if he didn’t approve and grant it out of pure fatherly goodness and mercy. We don’t have anything that we can offer him in return. He’s not hungry for our titbits nor needful of our hospitality. We don’t deserve his attention nor his gracious visitation one little bit – and that’s the truth. If he would not care and just go by, we would have not leverage to demand a change of attitude in him. We totally dependant on his gracious favour to look at us kindly and not destroy us. We don’t even have 10 just and righteous amongst us – and if he would deal with us as we deserve, we would have been long gone and nobody would even remember us ever again.
Now our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lord, does not just go by us. He does not leave us unattended. No – he goes out of his way and seeks us even in the fathers corners of the world. Like that time he visited Abraham, he visits us too – even out on the plains and in deserted places. Remember how he sought out that Samaritan women at the well? Or even looked up Zacchaeus in that tree? And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19,9-10)
He is the one who seeks us out and finds us even if our places are so far off and well hidden from the public eye. He looks us up and knocks at our door – seeking our attention and desiring entry. He does not force himself on us, but rather waits most politely for our positive response. He comes in and grants us his most favourable, gracious and forgiving presence and godly company – granting forgiveness, life and salvation in blessed eternity.
What a wonder that the divine king came to dwell amongst us in Bethlehem centuries ago and that he even comes today in his holy word and blessed sacrament to stay with us and always + that we therefore stay with him always also. We thank him for that again today. Amen.
1. Early in the morning Jesus goes and before all doors stands; He knocks and where you besought: Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest!
2. Now, do not let him wait open up your heart portals and call him most sweetly: Hurry Jesus and enter in!
3. May you stay with us daily keeping all our enemies away. Write us into the book of life and be our good shepherd always.
4. Guiding us on green meadows, that we see thy abundance and build on your goodness, going in and out with you.
5. Amen, yes, it will happen! Jesus will walk with us today, and we will happily see, that he never leaves us alone.
Original “Früh am Morgen Jesus gehet...” Gerhard C.H. Stip *1809 +1882
Translated rather literally and not in rhyme.