“Such happiness as life is capable of comes from full participation…” –John Dewey, Living Philosophies (A.D. 1931)
Revelation 2:1 To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, “These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.”
There have been times when the church has been a pretty low priority in my life, despite my commitment to Christ.
And during those times I wonder, how have I developed this attitude?
Oh, I’ve never abandoned His church. I’ve never acted as if it were nothing. But at times it’s been rather irrelevant in my day-to-day activities.
I’ve never been persuaded by things like the 1960’s excuse: “Give me the man, not the plan,” or the frequently heard: “My personal relationship with Christ is all I need.”
But when I remember that all seven of these letters in Revelation are Jesus’ personal words “to the angel of the church in…” I find myself questioning my own attitude.
After all, some of these seven churches had problem members. Some of the congregations I would call problem churches. And all of them faced serious challenges from the world.
But no matter how bad the church problems were, I actually notice that Jesus never says, “My children, it’s only I who am important, so if the church doesn’t work for you then forget it.”
He never seems to tell me, “You don’t need this church—the church I died for—all you need is Me.” That just doesn’t seem to be His recommendation.
So I tell myself a hard truth: It’s hard to call myself a disciple if I refuse to think like the Master!
Jesus had excuses to abandon these churches. He even had reasons. But He didn’t abandon them. Maybe I shouldn’t either.