Since planting Mercy’s Door almost three years ago there is perhaps no question, we get asked more than “where did the church’s name come from?” And If there is another question that rivals that one it’s “what does the logo stand for?” First, it would be complete dishonesty if I didn’t tell you that my wife Rachael and I first heard the term “mercy’s door” in a song we love written by an Acts 29 church (the Village Church) called “Come to Me.” The term shows up in a great line in the song that sings “Mercy’s Door is open, so rise up and enter in.” Likewise, the crossed keys on our logo came from a few other designs Rachael and I saw as we were first dreaming about planting in Mascoutah.
Though the name and logo ideas weren’t completely original, they also weren’t the only ones we considered. There were several other potential names and graphical ideas that we thought were either catchy, relevant, or theologically important. Eventually though, the church plant was named Mercy’s Door (and not King’s Cross Church as I originally lobbied my Rachael for) and the logo consisted of crossed keys with a crown and cross in them because of the story we wanted to tell to Mascoutah, Scott AFB and the surrounding towns.
Of all the themes running through scripture, one of the most beautiful (and I would argue one of the most prominent) is the idea of access or dwelling in the presence of God. The theme begins at the beginning of scripture with Adam and Eve living with God in the Garden of Eden. That is until sin enters into the picture. As heart breaking as the beginning and middle of Genesis 3 is, as God is pronouncing the curse that has fallen on men, women, and all of creation because of Adam and Eve’s sin, to me the most heart wrenching words occur at the close of the chapter in verse 24. The verse says: “He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” God “drove” Adam and Eve out of the garden. No longer could they live in his Holy presence because they were not Holy, they were sinful, stained, children of sin rather than children of righteousness. And Moses (the author of Genesis) seems to tell us Adam and Even at least had a sense of what they were losing in being removed from the Lord’s presence, because God has to “drive” them out like children digging in their heels in order to not be moved.
Much of the rest of the old testament details the story of mankind living apart from the presence of the Lord (and just how badly it goes). Even when the Lord comes down to live “near” his chosen people in the Tabernacle and Temple there was still separation, still a wall (or veil) between God and even the most Holy of men. That is until the Father sent Jesus (God in human flesh) to tear down the veil through his perfect life and death thus allowing us access (bold access according to the book of Hebrews) back into the presence of God. This is where the name Mercy’s Door comes from. Jesus in John 10:9 describing why he came from heaven to earth says “I am the door, if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.” Jesus is the merciful door we have been invited to enter in through that leads to salvation. And salvation at its core isn’t just about our forgiveness of sins, and it isn’t just about living forever in Heaven. It’s about being reunited for all eternity with God our creator and sustainer. Our sins are forgiven so that we might dwell again with Him, and Heaven is the reward that it is because Heaven is the dwelling place of God.
This leads us to our “strange” crossed keys, and the crown and cross. Throughout the history of the church (specifically the Catholic church) the crossed keys as a symbol has been referred to as the Keys of Heaven or the Keys to the Kingdom. But those keys, that access, only comes through the King of Heaven (hence the crown) coming to earth and being killed for sinful men and women (hence the cross). What we proclaim is Christ (Mercy’s Door) and the good news of his death and resurrection (crown and cross) that leads us into the presence of God (the crossed keys).
So that’s why we are called Mercy’s Door and that’s why our logo looks the way it does. And even more so, that’s why we planted a church. Because though the sin and rebellion of man brought separation for a little while, our mercy’s door (Jesus himself) bring us back to the one we were created to be with. To Him be all glory, honor, and praise!