I will be working on a project to write a series of sonnets based on this passage from Luke 13:22-30. Our human sensibilities oftentimes find these passages which speak to the exclusion of the Kingdom of God highly unsavory. And in our age in which the individual is the “sovereign chooser” we seem to forget that in choosing some things, we by default exclude others. The issue is not whether there should be or even can be inclusive or exclusive, but rather do we know what we’re choosing and why.
22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. 29 And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Someone asked, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?”
And Jesus perceiving, told a parable of a door.
“Do all you can, strive to find your way through
Into the King’s presence and peace forevermore.”
“Be wary, the door shall not always stay open,
And many will come late expecting they’re in.
And even though they’ve listened, sup’ed, and broken
Bread at a table, yet they remain what they had been.”
Though the door is narrow its beauty now I see:
Through its humble casing, I cannot bear my pride;
Its head’s as tall as a man hung on a tree;
Its sill spans the breadth of his arms open wide.
Through this door all are welcome, are seated with a ring.
To find plenty of room and fullness at the table of our King.
(c) Randy Edwards
artwork: Engraving from a 1778 edition printed in England.