Whilst out walking yesterday afternoon, I observed how a shaft of light from the low sun lit up a broken white gate. The gateway was fenced off, the track so overgrown as to be all but impassable, and a large grey puddle added to the difficulty of gaining any access.
I reflected how easily we're tempted to put up barriers to close our hearts to the presence and love of God: barriers such as pride, greed and selfishness. Yet however well-developed our defences are against the coming of Christ, such things are ultimately no obstacle. Once our attention is caught by the paradox of the king riding in humility, by the faith and joy of others, by the quality of his love which suffers for us without limit, the path of his coming is made level and straight and we're called and compelled to receive him.
The entrance to my heart is all but blocked,
The royal entrance for the coming King.
The path is overgrown, the gate is locked,
And wired over; weeds are flourishing
Where feet should pass, whilst barbs of wire, spread
Across the width, deter all entry here,
And fetid swamps and ruts make treacherous tread.
'Twill guarantee no royal guest appear.
The entrance to my heart is tightly bound,
Yet crowds along the road 'Hosanna!' cry
And strewing cloaks and branches on the ground
Proclaim the blessed Coming One is nigh.
The way's prepared and straightened; all must part
Before the King in crown of thorns arrayed
And purple robe, to captivate my heart
With sacrificial love and grace displayed.