Dear Hope Family,
This Sunday we will read the final letter from Jesus to his churches archived in the book of Revelation. While the 7th letter is directly addressed to the church in Laodicea, as with all the previous epistles, it is also an appeal to the church universal – to believers across time and geography – even to our little church in our little neck of the woods.
Jesus’ tone, assessments, and directives have been at once severe and comforting, urgent and calming. And all have started with a precious phrase, one word in Greek and two in our English translations: “I know.” I have come to treasure this revelation about Jesus in new and deeper ways over the course of our study of these letters.
What a thought! He knows! He sees through all the bluff and pretense, the posturing and conjecture, the unseen and unknown, the twisted and complicated. He sees into what we cannot even see or know about ourselves. He knows what we would rather have left unknown. He knows. He knows!
What’s more, though, is that with that knowledge, intimate and vulnerable as it is, Jesus steps closer to them, to us.
Laodicea receives no commendation at all from Jesus. That’s striking. He knows that there is nothing worth celebrating among this church. And yet, and yet, he issues one of the most tender, heartfelt, and intriguing invitations to them, to us: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).
He knows the mess, the shame, the inconsistency, the apathy, the waywardness. Still he moves closer and invites himself in. Because he knows and is not disgusted or thwarted. Because he is the Alpha and the Omega who will complete the good work of redemption he has started in them, in us.
Let’s answer that invitation this Sunday together as we gather for worship!
Grace and peace,