Friday, November 18th. Revelation 3:14-22

“And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. To the one who conquers I will give a place with me on my throne, just as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” Revelation 3:14-22

 

Martin Luther King said that the opposite of love was not hate but apathy.  Winston Churchill said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph would be for good men to do nothing.  And the angel writing to the church of Laodicea on God’s behalf says “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

 

Of themselves, the Laodiceans say, “I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.”

 

Warner Sallman’s painting, “Christ at Heart’s Door” is one of the most iconic images reproduced in stained glass and behind the altar of many traditional congregations.  People are quick to notice that there isn’t a knob on the outside of the door (Jesus does the knocking but we have to open the door).  We are less apt to notice the lighting which puts Jesus at the center of a heart that includes the door.

 

Whenever I’ve seen this image, I always think about the Easter Sunday scene in John when Jesus passes through the locked door to join the fearful disciples.  The idea that God is somehow less powerful than the locked doors of a human heart seems ludicrous to me because I can’t imagine God being less powerful than anything.  God, after all, is God.

But I do recognize the Laodiceans.  I do recognize the self satisfaction of a positive balance in the bank; the egotism that says that life is all about me; the rationalism that explains away God; the consumerism that reduces the Christian faith to meeting my needs the way I want them met when I want them met how I want them met as long as I want them met.  I get all of that because I have all of that.  And because I have all of that, I see it in others.

The writer says:  “You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked”.  To that I would respond, “Actually, late at night when we can’t sleep, or when life takes uncontrollable turns in the bright light of day, or when we run up against the illusion of self control or hear yet another shrill voice telling us the world is rushing toward self destruction, we realize all of that.  For that is precisely what we are medicating ourselves against.”

 

“Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.”

 

Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, come into our lives again today.  Forgive us for all that we do that separates us from you and us from one another.  Come to us as we huddle in fear or run in rebellion.  Don’t let us go!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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One Response to “Friday, November 18th. Revelation 3:14-22”

  1. chuyên bán chè thái nguyên tại hà nội Says:

    chuyên bán chè thái nguyên tại hà nội…

    […]Friday, November 18th. Revelation 3:14-22 « Daily Devotions[…]…

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