This letter gives us another secret to growth and change to those of us who are feeling a little bit complacent. Maybe we feel a little more bored than blessed when we connect with church … Perhaps we feel a lot more attached to this world than we’d like - (who doesn’t struggle with that?) and looking us straight in the eye Jesus says - “I want you to see your need as you never have before. Then I’d be able to meet your need as I never have before.”
John writes this way to the church in Laodicea - “To the angel of the church of Laodicea write, ‘These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds that you’re neither cold nor hot … I wish that you were one or the other … But you don’t realise you’re wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you get from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich and white clothes to wear so you can cover your shameful nakedness salve to put on your eyes so you can see.” (Revelation 3:14 ff)
Not easy words from Jesus but they end with his remarkable promise - “Look! I am standing at the door and I’m constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and I’ll fellowship with him; I’ll relate to him, I’ll dine with him and he’ll fellowship with me.” (Revelation 3:20 – Message)
Paul, writing to Titus, reminds us that … “Jesus saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). And one of the ways Jesus describes his task is … “I have come to seek, and to save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10). We could describe God’s mercy, which we experience in Jesus, as a mercy which takes the initiative, which takes the first step, and which “saves”.
Luke 15 tells the stories of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. Each of them tells us how incredibly valuable we are to God and of God’s deep desire to rescue us from ourselves, to recover our potential and to reconnect with us.
We celebrate “communion”, our reconnected relationship with God, by remembering Jesus life, death and resurrection for us – a sure sign of God’s mercy.