Sunday, October 29, 2006

Challenged again

My preconceived notions were challenged again as I listened to Scott speak about Revelation 3:14-20.

We were lead in several worship songs prior to communion and offering, among them, "I am Free", "Open the eyes of my Heart" and "Blessed be your name".

Scott read from the passage...

"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

He then told about Laodicea which had a resort town with healing hot springs on the one side and mountains providing the water on the other. The town was wealthy because they had sheep which gave them a black wool as well as an eye salve.

The problem was that the water was sent from the mountains to the town through an aqueduct which, by the time it arrived and was stored in the water system, had turned tepid.

The things that challenged me, especially in my weekend of challenging podcast listening were...
  1. It is easy to be tepid, apathetic or even distracted.
  2. The "hot" and "cold" don't just talk about a spiritual temperature but that fact that the people were not spiritually refreshing or spiritually healing.
  3. He also talked about how, while the church was well off, they didn't really have the spiritual necessities of life. The illustration here of being poor, blind and naked actually spoke in contrast to their physical situation of being well off, having easy access to the healing eye salve and having easy access to clothing made from the wool.
  4. Finally, he talked about the last verse... "I stand at the door....". I suspect most of us have heard this used in evangelism but Scott pointed out that within the context given, it is actually talking to the Christ followers in Laodicea. He also mentioned that dinner was "The Meal" of the day and so being told that Christ would dine with them was quite special.
Where does that leave us? One of the challenges Scott talked about was that he felt that Northern Hills has been too "consumer oriented" but has been showing signs of more and more people within the church with an expanding desire and a love for God.

1 comment:

Carol Ann said...

Great summary of this morning's message, Joel. I was also challenged by the message this weekend.