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)
Though we intuitively know it’s not true, we often buy into the “independence myth”. It’s the idea that we’ll be happy if we have independence in our lives; if we don’t let others get too close to us and if we’re “self-sufficient”.
Paul, writing to the church in Rome, turns that idea on its head. He says - “Since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others” (Romans 12:5).
God says community isn’t optional. We need each other, and we belong to each other in the body of Christ. We have to have other people in our lives if we’re going to be all God wants us to be.
Scripture reminds us we need others to walk with us, work with us, watch out for us, wait and weep with us, and witness with us.