Keith Wishum: Don’t forget your keys

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Do you remember that feeling?
A sense of new responsibility and a little fear, but mostly a feeling of freedom. Of possibility, prestige, and pure joy. It was a day to remember — the day you got your first keys.
Do you remember? Do you recall how it felt to hold the keys to a car for the first time? You knew you had finally arrived, though you had yet to go anywhere. You were about to embark on a journey that would take you much farther than just that first ride around the block.
Keys! Do you remember your first house keys – especially the ones to your first apartment or house? It was a place over which you were master, even if the bank did own more of it than you did.
I remember the thrill of having keys to my very own ’68 VW! I remember the excitement of unlocking the door of our first house, knowing that this one belonged to us. You may think it silly, but I still remember the day I got a key to the first office I could call my own.
Keys open doors. They suggest some degree of respect. They grant freedom and access.
“I will give you the keys!” he said. This wasn’t my dad turning me loose with the family car. It wasn’t the realtor at closing, or the HR person at a new job.
This was God! Offering keys. “Of the kingdom of heaven,” no less.
Surely not to me! Not those keys. It’s true that folks have been arguing for centuries about just what those words mean (in Matthew 16). And it’s clear that they were spoken by Jesus to a select group of men chosen as his ambassadors to the world, not directly to us.
But in some small way at least, the words have significance for all of us. While I can’t bind and loose commands, I do have access – access to the kingdom. The door has been opened. As hard as it is to believe, God holds out to each of us the keys to his shiny, new 2016 luxury edition kingdom eternal.
His key promises freedom. It conveys love. It offers privilege, brings hope, but mostly, it gives joy.
“Hop in,” he says. “Take it for a spin. It’s yours if you want it. You’ll love the ride.”
Do you have your key?

Keith Wishum is minister, Williams Road Church of Christ, Americus.