Wonder of God Meditations 10: The Wonder
Rev 3:20c “I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
To comprehend the wonder of grace and mercy we have to first realise the awfulness, the terribleness, of what it is applied to. That is why we have spent the past week considering what Jesus has been saying to this church at Laodicea, a church he charged with being so lukewarm that he wanted to spew them out, a church that thought it was rich but was poor, a church that was blind and naked; in other words, a church that fell far short that their time as a representative of the risen Lord was clearly up!
Here it is, the wonder of this letter, a letter with such strong condemnatory words, words that threaten extinction. And yet, and yet, the wonder was that Jesus invites them, and us, to invite him in for a meal, a prolonged time of intimacy over food, a time of sharing, of unity, of joy. They may be a church of failures but the offer of something utterly different is being held out. It’s not just Jesus eating while we look on, but we eat together, one of the most sublime examples of human interaction, a demonstration of Jesus total love and acceptance of you. That’s the goal of our God.
The children of Israel did not come to their senses and realise afresh the wonder of who they were until they had spent decades in exile in Babylon and it was a faithful remnant who returned joyfully to the Land to rebuild the temple and later the city of Jerusalem. There feels a parallel with us and Israel. The church has drifted so far from what Jesus presents us with in the New Testament that in most countries we are the minority living in Babylon and some even wonder, is this the end of the Church? Others may focus on the formalities but the formalities and traditions are not the life that brings individual and community transformations. The wonder is that Jesus reaches out to a diminishing church, not to call it back to what it was, but to call it to be the inspired and empowered people of God who demonstrate the kingdom of God.
The wonder is that instead of destruction, obliteration, annihilation, eradication, the head of the church calls out from outside these many ‘closed’ doors, doors closed by blindness and ignorance, and gently taps on the doors of open hearts and invites us to let him come into the church in a new way so HE can be Lord, HE can inspire, HE can envision, HE can empower, HE can direct the church when it gathers, and HE can speak and bring life transformations, new children to the family of God, new parts to the body of Christ. THIS is the sort of feast he envisions. Can we see this, can we let our hearts rise to this vision that he puts before us?