This morning I am drinking a nice Ethiopian drip coffee and thinking about lids. Like the one I always remove from to go coffee cups. I know it makes the possibility of a spill more likely but I love to watch the steam rise and breathe the rich aroma. I can almost smell the soil of Ethiopia as I sip my coffee …
Once Jesus was talking with his disciples about a life people in that day could hardly imagine. Life was harsh for the people of ancient Israel. Hopes and dreams generally included surviving the night to see the sunrise. Then Jesus comes along and teaches about a shepherd who would take care of his sheep in a way that brought hope beyond just survival.
Listen to his words:
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:7-10 Jesus says he is the gate that opens to way to a life never before imagined. He opens the way. In other words, he takes the lid off.
A lid, according to the dictionary is a movable cover for the opening of a hollow container; something that confines, suppresses or limits. Lids keep the contents inside the container just like the lids we place on our lives.
I know sometimes a lid is a good thing, ask any parent of small children.
But the more life I gather behind me the more I see lids Jesus never intended for me. Indeed, I am a hollow vessel but Jesus’ life fills me and wants to find expression in the world through me. Why would I ever put a lid on that?
But I do.
Insecurity. Fear. Expectations of others. Doubt. Past hurts. Failure. (add your own) Today, I am thinking about lids and my ambition for the next few months is to take some lids off and pray I haven’t squandered the life Jesus came to give me.