A Perfect Seven

September 22, 2020
Good afternoon
Letter to Laodicea      Revelation 3:14-22

We come to the final letter to the seven churches. Seven is a number of perfection, similar to the seven days of creation. As I mentioned earlier, these seven places are sort of a geographical circle. So, the circle ends in a perfect alignment. Laodicea is an active archaeological site. In recent years they uncovered a church, another theatre and old pipes. The ” neither hot or cold ” is a geograppy reference. North of the city were the hot springs of Pammukale. The waters come off the hills and deposit calcium, and the rocks are bright white. To the south of the city are the highest mountains of Turkey, with flowing cold water.. So, the hot water comes from the north, and cold water comes from the south and meets in Laodicea.

The church of Laodicea is seen as the worst in the list of seven. But it is not so. They are ” lukewarm… wretched, pitiful, poor, blind  and naked.” Yet, John ( and Jesus ) again invite them back in where they are refined. ” Here I am ! I stand at the door and knock.” God’s invitation is always there. He always wants to have a relationship with the people. In the end (  3:21 ). Jesus invites us to sit on the same throne as he is now sitting. 

The whole book of Revelation is hard to understand with its many strange images. My understanding of the seven letters are only temporary because my ears do not listen well, yet. As I read them again, other images will strike me differently. As you notice, I see all the churches as mirrored into the life of the church today. Our difficulties with the pandemic can be seen in the sufferings of the lettered churches. What do the letters tell us about ourselves as we seek to be the people of God in 2020 ?

Shalom and strength for the journey of faith and life in the church,

Prayer ( Revelation 3:22)
Whoever has ears,
Let them hear,
What the Spirit says
to the churches !