“When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed festivals, whoever enters by the north gate to worship is to go out by the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate is to go out by the north gate. No one is to return through the gate by which they entered, but each is to go out by the opposite gate.” Ezekiel 46.9
This slightly strange passage about where people should come in and go out actually contains a real lesson for us! Little reason is given as to why folk should enter one way and leave another – perhaps it had to do with keeping the crowds under control? For us, the message is that the experience of coming into the presence of the Lord should change us; we should come out from it different to how we went into it.
Certainly this season of Christmas should change us as we ponder afresh the wonder of Jesus coming to us; but actually this message is about more than Christmas. It is about every encounter we have with God.
His desire is that you take seriously what you feel he is communicating to you. It might be a verse that seems to be highlighted as you read the Bible, a picture that comes into your mind or a feeling of peace as you pray about something. It is important that you do not let these slip away, but rather that you hold onto them and perhaps even write them down so that they make an impression upon you that lasts longer than your immediate memory. The next step is to pause to let whatever God says have an impact upon you; why is he saying this to you? Why do you need to be told this? Why is God saying this to you today in particular?
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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