Today's Lectionary Text
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:
“I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
To be honest, I have not spent a good deal of time reading and reflecting within the book of Revelation. I think because at times it has felt far out or maybe too animated for me. I am learning that these words are very relevant and if I can tap into my lacking creative mind, I can hear clear messages from God.
I recently heard that these scriptures are written to, and about, some of the first churches in the midst of the Roman empire during the 1st century. Understanding the context a little more has helped me find this relatable for current times. Flash-forward to now, I have thought a lot about how a church and its people continues to minister in the current state of a changing culture. When I went back and read “Wake up!” I realized that is what I needed to do. We have empires that we face, and, in the midst, I am challenged to focus and strengthen what has always remained true.
What I hear Christ promising his believers is that if we receive what we hear from God, hold fast to the truth and repent, we overcome with assurance in the following:
1. We will walk with Him
2. We will not be blotted out
3. Christ will confess our names before the Father and the angels.
Let our reputation show that we are alive. What marvelous rewards await the faithful believer!
Prayer for Reflection
Lord, help us hear and follow your son when Jesus says, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” This message is pertinent now more than ever and the Spirit is still speaking to us through the Word and through your guiding presence. God give us ears to hear!
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