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)
The well know Proverb says- “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.” (Proverbs 29:18) More traditional translations like the King James version talk in terms of vision – “Where there is no vision, the people perish …”
Jesus, who best shows us ‘what God is doing’, talked about and lived out, God’s kingdom “come on earth as it is in heaven”. For Jesus that kingdom of God is multinational; it’s powerful, eternal and inevitable. In practice it meant that Jesus shared “good news” with other people, He trained leaders, He helped the poor, He cared for the sick and He taught children.
What a great starting point for a church’s vision!