Beautiful Welcome – by Bryan Johnston

JohnstonThere is not a more beautiful sight than coming home to the McCullough Bridge into North Bend (Oregon, USA- See footnote). This architectural expansion is laid down firmly to provide safe entry into the Bay Area from the North. The mile-long cantilever bridge allows travelers easy entry as they pass high above the city of North Bend. It endures the high winds and rain to provide access to community life. The bridge’s function is to provide passage by welcoming patrons to travel over its surface. It does not mind the burden of bearing the treading and tracking of all the traffic. It takes great delight to serve people into city limits.

Jesus as the gate is the only entry into the kingdom of God. He is the door that opens to let his people in. As the door he provides access and protection for his followers. Jesus takes great joy in watching over his flock. As the Good Shepherd he knows his sheep and they know him. He meets

all their needs and cares for them. As the Good Shepherd he welcomes and calls his sheep by name. He knows that evil will come to disrupt and scatter the lives of his little ones, but he is ready. As the Good Shepherd he lays down his life so that none of his will be destroyed or lost. Jesus lays down like a Welcome Mat for his sheep to walk over into his fold. He takes all our brokenness and allows our dirty feet to be wiped clean. He does this only to our advantage, because he knows that he is the only way for us to have access into fellowship with his Father. There is no where else he wants us to be than with His Father.

Praise God that Jesus has conquered the grave. Jesus endures the cross and defeated sin and death. Jesus gathers us to him by his love. We must choose to walk with him and through him to share in communion and fellowship with the Father. Jesus is the Gate and the Good Shepherd – what a beautiful warm welcome into his kingdom. He meets all their needs and cares for them.

-Bryan

Footnote: Here is an old photo of the bridge, which still looks much the the same. It’s 5,305 feet long and stands 150 feet above the water. Even at that, it pales in comparison to God’s love … 🙂

Bridge

Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge – North Bend, OR USA

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