In those years
when we moved in evangelical circles
we welcomed Jesus into our hearts
being careful to get the formula correct.
This, we were assured,
would see us transformed,
by grace, into sons and daughters of God,
and ensure our entitlement to a place in heaven.
It didn’t make us disciples;
that may or may not have come later,
perhaps as a consequence.
It’s an uncertain metaphor;
making Jesus welcome.
There he is, knocking on Holman Hunt’s
weed-locked door with his lantern glowing
in the darkness.
Open your heart, let him in.
The cup of cold water
suggests a different welcoming.
Open your heart to the thirsty, the hungry
the struggling, the distressed,
the poor and the wretched.
Stand with courage to denounce evil
and oppose the unjust.
Repudiate the false idols
of wealth, comfort and power.
Give yourself, be a disciple,
create hope, make peace, do love;
that’s where the welcoming gets serious.