In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazaros (Luke 16.19-31), Jesus tells of an opportunity for salvation that goes unnoticed by the rich man. Day after day he stepped out his door passing over his salvation, a humble poor man “desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.” (Luke 16.21) Day by day the rich man was sealing his fate for an eternity of torment and grief, while the fate of the poor man rested firmly in the bosom of Abraham. Both men died, and both men met their fate.
Too often we think of salvation in terms of a court of law. If we get caught doing something against the rules, we will be on trial in front of God. If we don’t do anything bad, we will go to heaven. The biggest problem with this misunderstanding, is that salvation isn’t about good or bad deeds. It is about a good or bad heart. Does our heart love God and others more than ourselves, or do we go through life putting our desires before the needs of those around us? Do we even take the time to acknowledge the needs of those around us, many of whom are just sitting outside our door?
Just outside your door, if you choose to notice, is your salvation waiting for you. Every time you step out your front door is an opportunity to meet your salvation face to face. The rich man in the parable was so focused on his own comfort that he ignored the man lying across his front steps. When you step out your door you leave behind the comfort of home, but you also leave behind the chains of torment and grief. Every person you meet, rich or poor, is your opportunity for salvation.
Just outside the doors of your Church, as you leave each Sunday, you will encounter our opportunity for salvation. Rich or poor, good or bad, employed or unemployed, healthy or sick, Greek or non-Greek, Christian or atheist, the list goes on with describing the people in our lives. Will you step over them ignoring their needs, or will you stop and take notice of them and love them? Salvation isn’t about rich or poor. It isn’t about names. It is about bread crumbs and dogs. It is about being able to see the person just outside your door, not as a burden or inconvenience but with compassion and love. Salvation is about love.