While those who read my blogs may not have an interest in reading my Sunday sermon each week, I recently saw something in scripture that had a connection to our modern culture that I’m sure many of my friends would appreciate.
In Luke, Jesus tells a story about a man (or woman, it’s you, actually) who goes to his friend’s house to get bread to feed to an unexpected house guest. As I read this story, told more than two-thousand years ago, I heard the voice of Sheldon, from the television show “The Big Bang Theory.” Jesus’ story is short so I invite you to read it with me…
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke tells us that, because of our friendship with God, through his son Jesus Christ, we are given the privilege to trade on our friendship. Because we are friends, and indeed, family, we are able to ask for what we need without fear that we will annoy God into ignoring us. Luke says that if not “because of friendship”, then because of “shameless audacity,” God will give us what we need. The story that Luke tells is of asking a friend for bread after that friend had locked the doors and gone to bed at night.
It helps to understand that the houses in ancient times were not like the houses we have today. Not every member of the family had their own room and in fact, while Mom and Dad might have had some privacy, in many cases the living room was somebody’s bedroom and quite possibly everybody’s bedroom. At night the furniture would be pushed aside, bedding would be unrolled and members of the family would sleep on the floor and in front of the door. The man who was in already in bed would have to light a lamp so that he did not step on sleeping family members, step over those who were sleeping and then move whoever was in front of the door. Certainly by the time he had done this most of the family would be awake, grumbling and grouchy… and yet, because of your persistence, because of your “shameless audacity,” even if not because of your friendship, he would get up and get you the bread that you need.
And this is where I made the connection with “The Big Bang Theory.” There, in episode after episode, week after week, Sheldon knocks on Penny’s door at all hours of the day and night
Knock, knock, knock, “Penny?” knock, knock, knock, “Penny?” knock, knock, knock, “Penny?”
Sheldon knocks over and over and over again until poor Penny answers, in her pajamas, often bedraggled, hair a mess, and half asleep. Not because she’s happy about it, partly because of their friendship and mostly because of Sheldon’s shameless audacity, Penny comes to the door and helps Sheldon with whatever problem that he is having.
Luke says that our relationship with God is sort of like that.
God desires to give you good gifts, just as a father desires good things for his children. He is not put off by your persistence and you aren’t going to annoy him into ignoring you.
Never forget that God loves you. He has adopted you so that you are a part of his family.
You are a child, and a friend of God who never needs to be afraid to pound on the door of heaven at all hours of the day and night, to ask for the things that you need.
Knock, knock, knock, “Jesus? Knock, knock, knock, “Jesus? Knock, knock, knock, “Jesus?