SARDIS – I can’t fool God. People, yes. Including myself. A little Bible tapdancing, some earnest tra la la’s, some well-publicized donation, and I am a good Sardinista: a reputable zombie! Yet there is still hope for the “mostly dead” (thank you Billy Crystal in the Princess Bride) church and individual: wake up and realize that “completely dead” is just around the corner and to strengthen what remains of faith, knowledge, holiness, and godly hope – from a mustard seed to a mighty tree, something of a specialty with God, for whom all things are possible. In a word, the angel says to Sardis: repent, it may soon be too late.
PHILADELPHIA - To the church in the OTHER Philly, city of Brotherly Love and site of awful persecution, the angel’s message can be boiled down to two words:
Sometimes that is all we can do. Hold on to what we know is true, even when others fail us and hurt us. In perseverance there is victory. As Winston Churchill told the young men of Eton: “Young gentlemen, never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never, never.” Coming from the man most responsible for saving Western Civilization, the words ring true. Others may shut doors in our face and call us losers; the door to God’s presence is always open, let us go into the holy place, and overcome. Never give up.
LAODICEA – how disgusting to be comfortable and self-satisfied, to go to church but not get too carried away with what I hear, to choose my own comfort level of holiness, and above all to keep my eye on what really matters – the accumulation of my own wealth and worldly prestige.
I say disgusting because to God’s taste I would be like spoiled food, once tasty but too-long neglected and left at room temperature to slowly, thoroughly rot. Who can blame him for his reaction?