What does the word ‘open’ mean to you? Like language itself, it is like any word in which the meaning only comes from the context in which it is used. A word, any word, may also depend on who is using this word. Depending on the age of the child, there are some words he or she uses that only a mother can understand. Open could be an adjective, a verb, an imperative, or a predicate. The word open, has at least 12 different meanings, some of which I will point out, most I will not, and one that I will focus on because it is prophetically important for where we are at as a church in this crucial time.
WHAT OPEN MEANT IN 1968 TO ROD LAVER
It wasn’t that long ago when all major sporting events were closed to professionals. This applied to the Olympics, and to tennis – which for a long time were both reserved for amateurs. In 1962, Rod Laver was the world’s best amateur tennis player. In that year he did what very few tennis players have ever done – he won the Grand Slam. This meant that he won the French Championship, the Wimbledon Championship, The U.S. Championship, and the Australian Championship – all in the same calendar year. But despite his number one world ranking and the glory of what hardly anyone else had ever done, he had basically earned no prize money for all his hard work. At the end of 1962, Rod Laver decided to turn professional, and join with the other world’s top tennis players on the emerging professional tennis tour. Laver was a bit stunned though when he joined this professional tour and was unable to win a match! But over the next five years on the professional tour, Laver began to dominate his opponents. Then something spectacular happened in 1968.
In 1968 open meant that Rod Laver was again able to play in each of the Grand Slam tournaments when each tournament changed their player admission to be open to professionals. But perhaps to Rod Laver in 1968 open meant that he could do what no other man in the history had been able to do – win the Grand Slam for the second time! ‘Open’ in 1968 for Rod Laver meant that was open to make history.
WHAT OPEN MEANS TO A DENTIST
When a dentist says “Open” he or she is issuing a professional instruction to their patient.
WHAT OPEN MEANS TO A LOCKSMITH
Open to a locksmith is a professional goal when they are called in to deal with a faulty lock.
WHAT OPEN MEANS TO A SHOPKEEPER
To a shopkeeper open means the opportunity to pay their utility bills, their insurances, their staff wages, their mortgage, their children’s school fees, and to cover the cost of replenishing their stock.
WHAT OPEN MEANS TO A SAILOR
It is one of the delights of a yachtsman to glide across the waters and to sail into open seas powered by nothing but the available breeze. For the early explorers, such as Columbus, Cook, and Cortez, who sailed across open seas in search of adventure and fame. Today, it is the day-in-day-out duties of every merchant sailor to freight their ship’s container-cargo across open seas to their international customers.
WHAT OPEN MEANS TO THE OUTGOING PASTOR OF A TASMANIAN CHURCH
Be open is the appeal of the pastor-preacher to his hearers so that they might experience the power of the gospel, the infilling of the Spirit, and the presence of the Lord in their worship. Be open is the pastoral appeal for people to be inclined for what the Lord might do in them.
When I was a teenager I had a visiting evangelist lay his hands on me after I responded to his appeal to come forward for prayer “…if you want to baptised in the Holy Spirit.” “You may not understand all that the Scriptures says about it, but be open to what God by His Spirit might do in you!” And so I did. I went forward in the little Apostolic Church building in Coxes Road, Norlane (Geelong), one Wednesday night, and was prayed for. That night my world changed. I was open to something that I could see in Scripture, even though I didn’t quite understand it.
To the evangelist, open meant the possibility of a miracle happening. Sometimes this miracle happens when someone is open to the gospel and they are then converted to faith in Christ. Sometimes this miracle happens when a young teenager is open to coming forward in a small church which leads to the Holy Spirit baptising him in a Pentecostal experience.
Sometimes let’s be open is an appeal for someone to open to the new thing, season, mission, chapter, that God might be about to do. This is where we are now at as a church. Many of us are praying for God to call a new minister as our church’s new pastor and leader. This will be a new experience for many in our church. This new pastor will be different. Perhaps he will try new things. My appeal to you is to be open. Be open to who God will call. Be open to how he will go about his ministry and calling. Be open to how young or old he might be. And perhaps most of all, be open to what God is going to do in our church’s next and new chapter.
Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.
5 Things We Need To Do To Break Our Church’s 200 Barrier, Premium Audio$0.95
Apologetics Part 1 – Introduction To Apologetics, Premium Audio$0.95
Apologetics Part 2 – The Apologetic Arguments For God, Premium Audio$0.95
Apologetics Part 3 – The Apologetic Arguments For The Bible, Premium Audio$0.95