In Focus Magazine

Thought for the Month

Have you ever had that experience where several things coincide to make you think – this is more than a coincidence? It happened to me about an hour ago!!

During Lent I read a book by Francis Chan called ‘Letters to the Church’, its about what being Church is really all about, based on the ideas of the letters at the beginning of Revelation.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend was appointed to a new role and in the Parish Profile the Church had written a letter to itself in the style of the letters at the beginning of Revelation.

This week in a daily reading I use, from Scripture Union, we began looking at the letter from Revelation!

This feels more than a coincidence… but what is God saying? Well that might take some time to really work out if I’m honest, but my initial reaction was – I wonder what He is saying to the Good Shepherd Church.

There are seven letters that Jesus writes to churches that John is asked to write down (Rev. 1.11), and they all follow a similar pattern, with a variation here and there: the knowledge of attributes and actions is shared; there is some kind of rebuke – ‘but I have this against you…’ – which will need repentance; listen well – ‘whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says…’ and those who conquer will receive a promise.

It seems to me that these letters invite us to make an examination of our spiritual health and well-being. All seven begin with ‘I know’, all are told to overcome, and all have a promise.

I often spend time with people taking about their spiritual health – you might say well that’s your job… perhaps; but actually, I think that we can all do this for each other. We ask about people’s physical health as a matter of course don’t we – how are you? And when some one is it a bit down, we might ask the same question – so why don’t we ask about spiritual health? I suspect it is something to do with pride.

We talk about our personal walk with Jesus – but is it really – don’t we walk together as a community? Aren’t we given the responsibility of caring for each other, so that we can then serve together those who are not yet a part of us?

Chan writes this prayer in his book (page 197):  Father thank you for choosing us to be a part of something so sacred. Forgive us the times when our laziness weakened the Church, or our pride divided her. Give us childlike faith to have an impact on the Church with Holy Spirit power.

May your Bride become attractive, devoted and powerful beyond earthly explanation. May we become consumed with her, all for Your glory. Keep our minds fixed on the battle, courageous and humble. Stir our affections daily that we can be found serving Your Bride faithfully when you return to judge. Amen.

Perhaps we could do some thinking about this together? Talk to me!

Sue Willetts