“Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
Lots of homes have a box of letters from the past stored away in a forgotten corner. The letters may be reminders of a painful chapter in life that was hard to work through. Or perhaps the letters are filled with happy memories. My wife and I have a box of our courtship letters. We have not looked at them since the day they were written, but we can’t part with them.
Revelation includes a set of letters written to seven churches. Each letter is unique, identifying the qualities and characteristics of each church community. These are love letters from Jesus to each of these church communities.
I imagine that each of the seven churches read and reread the letter they received from Jesus and were never able to part with it. The letter revealed not only that Jesus knew them—both their strengths and weaknesses—but also that he loved them.
Thankfully, these seven letters were never thrown away. The Holy Spirit invites us to read them so that we can appreciate what Jesus wrote to the early church communities, and so that we can hear what Jesus is saying to us. Jesus’ command for John to write was for our benefit too. What a gift it is to receive these letters from Jesus!
Dear Father, may your Holy Spirit lead us so that in reading your letters to your church communities we may hear you speak to us today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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