[To the Church of Ephesus: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (Revelation 2:1-7)]
The church at Ephesus had it all: fantastic programs, belief-system integrity, an intolerance for abusive behavior, and endurance in the face of hardship (all important things).
But their love had dried up.
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.” (Revelation 2:4).
They started out caring about each other and their community, but somehow a different motivation crept in. Didn’t really matter what was driving all their busy-ness now – if they didn’t return to their compassion-saturated roots, Jesus was going to “remove their lampstand.”
[This story has a happy ending. Twenty years after this church was gently rebuked by Jesus, they received a letter from one of the early church fathers (Ignatius) commending them for the depth of their love for one another. Looks like they got the message.]
Reject any version of Christianity that’s driven by something other than a genuine interest in the well-being of others. But when you find love-driven followers of Christ, engage and embrace them.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Especially when …
[Next post: The Church of Pergamum: “Minimization” (Revelation 2:12-17); click on the Follow button to get notifications of new posts.]