Words by Mike Adams | Image by Blakeney Clouse
1 Chronicles 9:21 says, “Zechariah son of Meshelemiah was a keeper of the door of the tabernacle of meeting.”
The Bible makes an obscure statement that you might not understand until you stop and think about it in the context of our modern practice of worship. I can enter almost any worship service in America, and there will be a few men and women who are standing in the foyer of the church with the purpose of welcoming visitors. They hand guests an order of service and help them find their way to a place to sit. We usually call them ushers but the Bible calls them “the keepers of the door.”
One of the first churches where I was “a real pastor” was Spring Hill Baptist. We had 100 dedicated servants of the Lord. The first two people I met every Sunday morning were Ruth and Aubrey Edmondson. They were keepers of the door. They were the first folks to arrive on Sunday morning, and the last ones to leave on Sunday night. I never saw either of them frown for five years. They knew how to conduct the ministry of hospitality. They made you “feel at home” in the house of the Lord. Aubrey let me know what was happening in the community and Ruth let me know what was happening among the church membership. The minute you met Ruth and Aubrey, you knew you were in God’s House and you felt secure and filled with peace. Remember: Joy can be found when you entertain angels unaware!
Second, there is a layman by the name of Gene Lawrence. The habit that makes him an exceptional keeper of the door is that he has a new joke every Sunday. When you come to church with a serious sermon on your mind, you need a good laugh. Gene can tell some of the funniest jokes, and he can do it in three minutes. That is important because most of the other people coming to church are telling me about people who need special prayer for sick relatives. Remember: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine—even for the preacher!
The third keeper of the door is Euel Glaze. When I first met Euel, he was our church custodian and “all-purpose, fix-it man.” He could fix almost anything. Euel has always been a quiet person who works hard and serves faithfully. After 13 years of being pastor at First Baptist Church in Jasper, I was called to serve a church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and then I was called to Lexington, Tennessee. When I returned to Jasper, my wife and I became members of First Baptist. As I entered the church, I ran into Euel at one of the lesser used entrances. He was serving as the keeper of the door. He knew the spiritual and physical condition of all the shut-ins. He was checking on them every week. He was experiencing more joy than ever before. I see many people retire from life when they retire from their job. Euel is a keeper of the door in the House of the Lord. Remember: Joy can always be found in the presence of the Lord!
There are lots of doors in God’s house. Which on needs you to keep it and find your place of ministry?
Remember: if you serve you will find joy; if you sit, you will become joyless. WL