Unlocking The Kingdom

My friend Nate and I have been working on my father’s house this summer, and one of the tasks on the to do list was to put in some new locks and door handles.

Now, the main front door of the house has a lock that is probably as old as the house. It’s a deadbolt with a key hole on each side. It’s rock solid and has a specialized cut to it. So, because a new lock wouldn’t fit the same way, and because this original is so solid and has the nostalgia factor going for it, it was decided that it would be best to keep the old lock and spruce it up. Nate offered to polish it. And a few days ago, he brought it back.

Wow, did it look good. As long as I’ve been alive, it had always looked dull and blackened, but now it was shiny brass. Great, I thought.

But Nate said there’s one problem.

It doesn’t work.

What? I put the key in and turned. Nothing. It didn’t work.

We tried assembling it on the door, and that didn’t help. I thought maybe the brass cleaner had just clogged it up. So, we tried WD-40. Then we tried WD-40 again. And then again. But whatever we tried, it still wasn’t working. Finally, I said, “Nate, let’s go to a locksmith. He’ll know. There’s probably something simple that we’re missing.”

So we went up the street to the locksmith.

“Hello, I have this lock, and it doesn’t seem to be working. We polished it up, and I think brass polish might have clogged it or something. We used a little WD-40 on it.” I handed him the lock, and WD-40 oozed out of all it’s crevices.

He took the lock and the key and started working it. He flipped it over, rotated it, turned the key, and played with a little piece on the back of it, a piece that we couldn’t figure out. Then he put the odd little piece in just the right position, and viola. “It works,” he said. He took a marker and marked on the lock how the odd little piece should be positioned for it to work.

Can I give you something for this? No.

And that was it. Two minutes, if that, and the key was opening the lock.

Nate laughed, “How embarrassing. I feel this big.”

“This is great!” I laughed. “The lock works!”

Each of us, like Peter, has been given the keys to God’s Kingdom. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 16:19) In the Church, we are given all the things we need to unlock the Kingdom and enter. But what happens if you’re confused by them? What happens if you struggle to put things together and use them?

What happens when your key doesn’t open the lock?

Then it’s time to go to the Locksmith. If you try to do it yourself, it becomes a mess. But the Locksmith will know. A few twists and turns, and He’ll get the key working. You have to be little, you have to be ready to feel “this big”, but it’s worth it.

You get the Kingdom of heaven.

“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 19:14)

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