Revd Kathryn Herrod guest column: Easter is a time for opening new doors and changes

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Alice found herself in a long, low hall, which was lit up by a row of lamps hanging from the roof.

There were doors all round the hall, but they were all locked; and when Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle, wondering how she was ever to get out again..’ (Lewis Carroll)

It’s good to take some time now and again to review where we’re at in our lives. Lent provides us with just such a time, as we move towards the hope of Easter.

But it’s all too easy to find ourselves in a similar situation to Alice. She found herself stuck in a place she hadn’t expected to be in, surrounded by doors which raised her hopes of escape, but all were locked.

Identifying with Alice, we all have times in life when there seems to be no way out of the situation we’re in.

Doors can hold many different meanings for us.

They can mean security and safety. We all know that feeling of arriving back home after a long day, closing the door behind us and relaxing in the comfort of our own surroundings.

They can mean anxiety and tension. The wait in the doctor’s surgery or dentist as you sit staring at the handle of the door waiting for it to turn.

They can mean fear and upset. The door to the side ward opening for the news you did not want to hear to be delivered.

But Alice’s corridor of doors stands as a metaphor, not only for the physical doors we face that appear locked, but also the mental and spiritual doors in our lives.

When we’re faced with these types of doorways, we have to make a decision.

We can either turn around and risk never knowing what future was in store if we had only dared to move forwards, or we can take a deep breath, turn the handle and go through.

Easter is a time for opening doors. As Christians, we recall what Jesus experienced throughout the time leading up to his own crucifixion, and then we recall the sorrow and emptiness his disciples felt over the following few days.

All this changed on the third day, the day of Jesus’ resurrection; the day the stone was rolled away revealing an empty tomb.

It’s interesting to observe the way the disciples handled the situation on that Easter morning.

And within their differing responses we can perhaps identify our own.

One stood at a distance and refused to go in. One waited to be reassured before finally venturing into the tomb.

And one, arriving late, rushed headlong into the tomb, wanting more than anything to be convinced of the truth.

Whatever their response, they all finally agreed, ‘Halleluiah, He is Risen!

It’s ok to stand facing a life-changing door, but what’s needed is the desire and courage to go through it.

I wonder where you are in your own personal spiritual journey this Easter. Perhaps you don’t know which side of the door you are on.

Jesus said, ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock.’ (Rev.3:20) If anyone lets me in I will eat with him.

The door Jesus is knocking on is the door to our hearts. Be reassured of his promise that we do not open up to him in vain.

Happy Easter!