Most of us appreciate feedback. We know that we can benefit from the wisdom and advice of a trusted friend. But have you ever wondered what Jesus would say to us? What observations would he make about our situation? What advice would he give to us about the dangers that we face?
Fortunately, Jesus has given advice to churches. He wrote seven letters to churches that faced similar situations to us. We find these letters in the Book of Revelation. These were letters to real churches, living in real places, going through real situations, facing real dangers and temptations. Over the next few months in our Sunday sermons, we’re going to look at what Jesus had to say to those churches back then and what he has to say to us today.
In many respects, Jesus’ advice for us is timely. We’re resuming our in-person services after being online for so long. We’re delighted to be back, but for many of us, this will be hard. You may be anxious about being in a crowd. You may have fallen out of healthy Christian habits. You may have taken up new routines that make it difficult to come to church regularly on a Sunday and meet in a mid-week group. Whilst gathering for church again will take getting used to, the Bible is explicit that it’s for our good.
C.S Lewis spoke of church like this, ‘Enemy-occupied territory – that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church, you are really listening in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit, laziness, and intellectual snobbery.’
When we gather for church with one another, we’re listening to the ‘secret wireless’, we’re learning how to follow ‘the rightful king’. In Revelation, we meet this King. He is ‘the Alpha and the Omega… who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty’ (Rev. 1:8). This is the King who speaks to us and calls on us to follow him. We do this together.