Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Key

Keys are simple yet elegant works of art that have the power to unlock memories, a sense of belonging, a place of peace and calm and a sense of assurance.

Keys have changed over the years.  My grandparents had the larger, heavier skeleton keys with one hook that when inserted in the door allowed you to almost feel the lock inside being released. I have one such key in my possession,  it is tucked away in my jewelry box so that I don't lose it. My skeleton key unlocks my hope chest my dad hand crafted for my high school graduation.  My hope chest stores my most treasured items from my childhood and young adulthood. My key seems a bit insignificant compared to the key that has been passed down through generations, literally generations that span 1300 years.

This key that has spanned the generations is a key that opens the door to some of the most treasured items within our Christian tradition. The key unlocks part of the mystery that is held within the core of our faith; a faith of love, acceptance, peace that surpasses all understanding and a sense of assurance that our salvation is pure and holy.  The key that has been passed down through generations is the key used to unlocked the doors to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem yet the key that unlocks the door to the holies of our churches is not held by a Christian family.                                                                                                                       The key that opens the door for thousands of people to come and bow to pay homage where where our Savior is said to have been crucified and where his tomb is said to be held has been opened by the Nuseibeh family.  The Nuseibeh family is a muslim family who have been entrusted to open the doors for pilgrims over the centuries.  This muslim family not only ensures that pilgrims like myself {and around the world} are able to enter the holiest church within our Christian tradition, they are also the peace makers within the often heated, territorial debates and divisions that occur within the 5 different Christian denominations that call the church home.    The Nuseibeh family considers it an honor and privilege to hold such an important key of acceptance, peace and hospitality.  They graciously arise each morning knowing that the key they hold is precious and that it opens the door for thousands to draw close to their Savior.  They open the door with grace and holiness, then  make their way to the other side of the city to bow and pray in their mosque.  I am thankful that this Muslim family who lives their own faith of peace and love are the ones who open the door to one of the holiest places in our faith because it reminds me that we are all in this together.

In a Nation who is clearly in crisis, I believe that each of us hold a unique key.  A key that has the power to calm the storm, to welcome people in and to unlock the truths of love and righteousness.

As we walk this advent season, are you willing to arise each morning to unlock the doors of hospitality, grace, listening and calm?  Are we willing to make our way to our neighbors to unlock the cherished moments of holiness and warmth?  In the midst of this dark time in our nation are we willing to hold the key to welcome persons from around the world into a place where our Savior covers all of us with a new beginning and new birth that has the power to sweep across the darkness and bring light.