JUST ONE CITY MORE!
Today's reflection has been written by Daniel D. Maurer.
The last (seventh) city that John refers to is Laodicea. If you'd like to see where exactly this was in the ancient world, click this link here.
Again, I will be commenting on one passage I pick out from the text for this Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotional.
LAODICEA: "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."
Oh boy . . . we don't need much interpretation to know what was going on here, do we?!
Passion for the good news isn't easily gained. Mostly because I believe that doing the work of the gospel takes, well . . . work! It's hard! I wonder how many American Christian churches today would fall in the category of "Laodicean." It's difficult to say. However, the good news prevails and I certainly don't intend on being a church-basher here by any means. There are good people everywhere, and even in lukewarm churches. The only question I'd ask is how can we who struggle with being "hot" with our faith (I'd include myself in this category—sometimes it's just tough!) how is it that we can be set on fire? What do you think?
Narrative Lectionary Text
The Message to Laodicea
‘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.’