|September 16, 2020|
Good afternoon, ( If you want to subscribe to the devotional Rejoice!, please contact Cindy Schultz ( 595-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org ) . The cost is $46.60 a year. Fred has sample copies for you to look at . )
Letter to Smyrna
Revelation 2: 8-11
Smyrna is the present day city of Izmir, found along the coast of the Aegean Sea. Most of Smyrna was destroyed by a fire after World War I . There were battles between Greek and Turkish armies, and eventually Turkey took it over. There are few remnants of the ancient city of Smyrna visible today.
” Do not fear what you are to suffer…. Be faithful until death and I will give you a crown of life.” Revelation 2:10
The community that John is talking to in the whole letter is under threat from the Empire. The one who is destroying everything in the book is the Emperor. The Book of Revelation has been used to map out the end of the world. I grew up with Hal Lindsay and the whole Second Coming movement. But, there is no map. There is only faith that God is here among us. The Empire of 2000 years ago is the one threatening the faith of believers. John wants to provide a word of comfort to not only to Smyrna, but also to others who are being arrested and put in prison. Who is threatening the church today ? Where is the Empire in today’s world ?
We are living in the middle of the pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, economic downturn and changes in the climate. The whole world is affected. As you think of these things, is your faith in God strengthened ? How do you begin to pray to God today ? Invite God to infiltrate your life from a new place. Allow God’s Spirit to overwhelm your soul.
Prayer ( My Life Flows On )
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that Rock I’m clinging.
Since love is Lord of heav’n and earth,
How can I keep from singing ?
Tread on bold new paths!
Fireflies flash the direction
Hope springs eternal ! Monica Pieper Landoni 2020