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)
Mel Gibson’s movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’, was a controversy at the time. In every newspaper. On the cover of Newsweek and Time. Talked about in television shows. Very few movies get, the amount of attention, as ‘The Passion of the Christ’ received at the time.
When Mel talks, about the passion of Christ, he’s using the old English word “passion”, which literally means “suffering.” Specifically, technically, the passion of Christ, refers to the last twelve hours of Jesus’s life.
That drama plays out in three acts. In the trial, in the death, and in the resurrection of Jesus. In those three events we learn about God’s purpose (I’m sending my Son for you), God’s passion (the vastness of God’s love for us) and God’s power (available for us as we live our lives today).
Paul, writing to the Philippian church says - “Christ was truly God. But … He gave up everything, and became a slave, when he became like one of us. He even died on a cross. Then God gave Him the highest place, and honoured His name, above all others. So, that at the name of Jesus, everyone will bow down – those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.”