Good morning! It makes a certain amount of sense, I suppose, that after celebrating the first coming of Jesus Christ, I tend to want to read the Revelation again. The story of the next coming helps remind me that the post-celebration sadness is but a passing thing. The first section of Revelation is Christ's message to the seven churches in Asia. At first, this message seems very critical, not quite as loving as the message about loving your neighbors and doing good that our Lord delivered in His first visit. How could our Lord be less loving though? My focus may be too narrow. What does the overall message to the seven churches really say?
We can easily get caught up in the specifics and think of our Lord as overly critical, obviously a wrong conclusion on our part because He is Lord and we are not. What happens is that in reading the things Christ has against the seven churches, we tend to take all of that burden upon ourselves or we set it all aside because my church cannot be that bad. After all, my church is in the saving business. See that lamp or candle lit up there on the wall? We saved someone this past week! Of course, we know that it is Christ who does the saving and not our church, but what overall message might we miss in Christ's critique of those churches?
With a little change of focus, we can read the following in the message to the seven churches: I see you, I know you, I'm paying attention to your thoughts and actions, and the most important, I love you. If Christ did not love those churches, would He pay any attention to their actions, save in storing up wrath for the judgment? Would Jesus send a special message via John if He didn't care what those churches were doing? Isn't it great that the sovereign Lord is paying attention to you and me? Wonderful! The Lord cares enough to tell these churches what is wrong AND what is right in the congregation. He isn't just sitting on the throne waiting for the Father to give the signal for the end. Jesus sees us, knows us, and cares enough to send word that He is watching and loving us! That is what we can see in the overall message. By picking out seven churches, God reminds us that all of us are on His monitor screen at all times. You and I are not abandoned to the world!Have a wonderful new day in Christ!