Ecclesiastes tells us there is a time for everything under the sun.
Birth, death, planting, healing, mourning, dancing, etc.
There are times and seasons in our lives, and in the life of our church.
There are seasons for this or that.
A permanent this or that is never a good idea.
For ministry and mission can never be standardised and eternalised.
The Spirit blows where it wants to.
The Churches in Revelation all had their folly and foibles.
The genius of the Ephesus church was her patient endurance.
Its sublime rejection of all that is evil.
Its ability to test and consider those who are true or false. Etc.
That was their genius.
But the sword has two sides; the coin must be turned over.
The truth of things will be spoken.
Despite their genius, they functioned in a mechanical way.
Going through the motions: Deus ex machina
For sure, on the outside it all looked rather good, if you like that sort of thing!
Human beings are experts at pious performance.
But the holy gaze of Christ sees something else; something deadly.
It sees a hollow heart; actions devoid of meaning, deeper meaning, God-meaning.
The love that motivated the very works they continued had grown cold.
Even worse, they abandoned their first love, yet continued to act like they were in love.
They looked like they were flourishing, but they were floundering.
Like two lovers who have turned their gaze away from each other.
A marriage, stone cold but, well, it’s just easier to stay together;
And anyway, what would the neighbours, family or church say?
That’s the Ephesian Church!
What about your church?
Run your finger down one side of the blade.
What is the genius you can see in your church?
Not the programs, pastors, policies or performances …….per ce.
What is the brick in the Temple God is building?
What is it made of? What is its substance? What is its place?
What is your church’s uniqueness?
What is your contribution to the Kingdom of God and the Glory of God?
And what do we find when we run our finger down the other side of the blade?
What would Jesus say that would wake us up? Get us right and set us straight?
Whatever church you are in;
I pray it may be like the opening of a sunflower about to explode in colour and glory.
May your genius be courageous enough to be giants in faith, hope and love in Christ.
Courage to have faith; and faith to be courageous.
If you have ears, may you hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to your church.