Today's Life Journal readings are Ezekiel 4, Ezekiel 5, Ezekiel 6, Ezekiel 7, and Revelation 3.
Scripture: Revelation 3:1-2 "These are the words of him who hold the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. 'I know your deeds. You have a reputation of being alive but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die.'"
These are the author's words to the church at Sardis, who had evidently become comfortable.
How true those words are today. If you were to ask most church folks to describe their church, they would say things like, "We are on fire!"..."We're growing"..."Things are going pretty well."... and in their eyes things may be going pretty well. But in most places, nothing too exciting is happening. The Sunday morning worship bulletin is the same today as it was last year, and as it will be next week. Every now and then a guest will show up, and who knows, maybe even join the membership.
It's safe...It's predictable...And we like it that way.
I want to serve a noisy church. I love being in a church where I have to get loud on Sunday morning so folks can hear me over the crying babies. I am blessed to serve a church where my phone gets busted up pretty regular with folks who are throwing ministry ideas at me. I love the fact that the community KNOWS this church is alive, and where walking into the unknown is the norm. "A reputation of being alive"... that's not good enough.
So no rant today, but instead I want my folks to know that they do not have this in common with the church at Sardis. I'm blessed to serve Grace Church and I give God thanks for the people that call this their church home.
It's chaos in here this morning. We have stuff stacked around the walls. There are sheetrock hangers working in the youth center above my office. I can't hear myself think...and I absolutely love it.
(Insert shameless plug here) So if you are looking for a place that not only is reputed for being alive, but actually is, give me a holler. We'll do lunch, and I'll tell you about this place I know of where lives are being changed.
O living God, and God of the living, hear my prayer for those faith communities where you are actively at work. Strengthen them. Give them endurance to stand strong under the call to change lives. For those churches who are still sleeping, wake them up so that they can once again be kingdom churches. Amen.