LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. (June 12, 2017) – Bishop Dindy Taylor opened the 2017 session of Holston Annual Conference last night by knocking on a red door and imploring worshippers to answer the knock from Jesus.
Joking that the stage prop in Stuart Auditorium might still be wet from red paint, Taylor knocked several times throughout her sermon to emphasize the evening scripture as well as “Behold,” this year’s Annual Conference theme.
“Look. Pay attention. Don’t miss this. Be sure to see. Be sure to realize what God is doing for you this day,” she said.
She referred to Revelation 3:30: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” the first of four scriptures during this week’s four-day meeting that begin with “behold.” Taylor said the word appears in the Bible 1,298 times.
Taylor told the story of her five-year-old grandson, Grayson, who opened the door to a stranger when his mother was in the shower. She also showed an 1854 painting by Holman Hunt, “The Light of the World.” She said she “grew up” with the painting because there was a copy in her childhood church.
“I never noticed it before, but Jesus is knocking on a door that is very overgrown with weeds. It hasn’t been opened in a very long time.” She said the image represents a reality of “when someone is knocking on that door, and we often are very hesitant to open it.”
Doors appear numerous times in scripture, Taylor said, citing two times after the resurrection when the disciples hid behind locked doors, yet Jesus appeared to them.
“Doors are not an obstacle for God,” Taylor said. “They’re an obstacle for us. We’re the ones who let the weeds grow up.”
In the Holman painting, the handle is on the inside. “Jesus is never going to force himself on us, but he desires to have a relationship with us,” she said.
“May we behold that Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts.”
See photos below.
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.
The 2017 session of Holston Annual Conference was held June 11-14 in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. See United Methodist News Service final report. Ministerial Appointments 2017-2018 Hands-on Mission Kit totals 2017 See online stories under "...