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)
Scripture gives us a lot (around 100) “one another” instructions; things we should all do on behalf of our family in Christ. About a third of these instructions deal with Christians getting along while another third are specifically about the church getting along. Our “connectedness” in Christ is clearly something of significance. Paul writing to the church in Rome puts it this way - “Christ makes us one body, and individuals who are connected, to each other” (Romans 12:5).
Of course, our experience is that it’s often easy for us to get “disconnected” in our relationships; our relationships within the church and in the wider community. The Bible points to selfishness, pride, insecurity and resentment as four attitudes that cause significant damage to our relationships. Selflessness, humility, love and forgiveness are described as relationship builders.
May God bless us as we seek to grow our “one another” relationships.