Our passage this evening is from Revelation 2:8-17; we are reading the Common English Bible translation.
Message to Smyrna8 “Write this to the angel of the church in Smyrna:
These are the words of the one who is the first and the last, who died and came back to life: 9 I know your hardship and poverty (though you are actually rich). I also know the hurtful things that have been spoken about you by those who say they are Jews (though they are not, but are really Satan’s synagogue). 10 Don’t be afraid of what you are going to suffer. Look! The devil is going to throw some of you into prison in order to test you. You will suffer hardship for ten days. Be faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. Those who emerge victorious won’t be hurt by the second death.
Message to Pergamum12 “Write this to the angel of the church in Pergamum:
These are the words of the one who has the sharp, two-edged sword: 13 I know that you are living right where Satan’s throne is. You are holding on to my name, and you didn’t break faith with me even at the time that Antipas, my faithful witness, was killed among you, where Satan lives. 14 But I have a few things against you, because you have some there who follow Balaam’s teaching. Balaam had taught Balak to trip up the Israelites so that they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 15 In the same way, you have some who follow the Nicolaitans’ teaching. 16 So change your hearts and lives. If you don’t, I am coming to you soon, and I will make war on them with the sword that comes from my mouth. 17 If you can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. I will give those who emerge victorious some of the hidden manna to eat. I will also give to each of them a white stone with a new name written on it, which no one knows except the one who receives it.
If you wish to continue with Lectio Divina, click here; after, you can return for the meditation and the prayer.
Wait, every church gets an angel?
These love letters, as I insist on calling them, are actually given to the 'angel of the church.'
So, every church gets an angel.
I wonder who our angel is?
Is it the woman who will be attending the meeting about refugee resettlement this afternoon?
Is it the gentleman who has been keeping the books for many, may years?
Is it the alto in the choir who is shy about singing a solo, but who loves to lift her voice in concert with others?
Is it the man who delivered flowers to a woman with dementia last week?
Is it the administrative assistant, without whom very little would get accomplished?
Is it the man who gives of his time and talent in about six different areas?
Is it the child who will turn 1 in a month or so?
Is it the woman who sat in the back until she entered into God's embrace five years ago?
Is it all of these, and more?
Who is the angel of our church?
How do we hear the messages God is sending through our angel?
I wonder who our angel is?
God, you speak to us in the beauty of misty grey mountains and the sparkle of stars; you whisper in the notes of a hymn and in the Word proclaimed; you shout in the alarm of headlines and in the ache and weariness of our bodies. Help, us God, to hear you speaking through our particular angels; help us to hear, and respond, in the name of the One who is coming soon. Amen.