Have you noticed the red doors on the meeting house of a church in our neighborhood? Nancy Kennedy is a religious writer for the Citrus County Chronicle in west central Florida. She became interested in the red doors and started researching. She learned the red door tradition dates back to churches in the medieval days.
From a spiritual standpoint, there’s an obvious symbolic reason. The red door was an emphatic representation of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross, thus reminding us of salvation in Christ.
Interestingly, there is also a cultural significance. During times of persecution, people could seek asylum at a church that had a red door. Apparently, this was prevalent during England’s War of the Roses. A soldier on the losing side could hide in a church with a red door and his enemies would not harm him. They wouldn’t violate the red door.
The concept of refuge goes deep into Bible thinking as well. The Almighty is described as the ultimate place of refuge:
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1).
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble (Psalms 9:9).
Likewise, God has always provided refuge for His people. The concept was laid out by Moses in Numbers 35; then it was implemented by Joshua. The plan was to establish six “cities of refuge” in the Promised Land. A person could go there for protection; he could be free from harm in the city of refuge.
In the same way, the church of Jesus ought to be a place of sanctuary. For suffering humans, it should be a station of safety and a location for refuge.
How well do we carry that out in real life? Many churches have a sign that says, “Visitors welcomed.” Yet sometimes visitors are ignored. They might be judged by their appearance. They could be viewed with suspicion or generally made to feel uncomfortable in the assembly. In some churches, cliques exist. Preferential treatment is given to members of means, position, or social standing.
We want Cedar Grove to be a “Red Door” church. We want to be a place of spiritual refuge. That means we want to be a place where . . .
Hurts are healed.
Fellowship is inclusive.
Needs are met.
Help is provided.
Souls are saved.
Hearts are mended.
Prodigals are forgiven.
Compassion is shown.
Grace is extended.
Mercy is bestowed.
God is glorified.
Christ is exalted.
People are valued.
Love is shared.
Faith is strengthened.
Hope is offered.
Spirits are revived.
We could each ask, “what will I do to make Cedar Grove a Red Door church?”