The Roman style architecture, gymnasium, and ruins at the ancient and Biblical city of Sardis in Turkey.  

Some faked it, some did not make it – Tuesday, 33rd Week in ordinary time – Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22

The author of the Book or Revelation, attributed as John the apostle, is writing his revelation of what he saw and what he heard (1:10) in his penal Roman colony on the island of Patmos, off the coast of modern-day Turkey. He is writing this revelation at the command of the ‘Son of Man’ (1:12) who is the alpha and omega (1:8); the first and the last (1:17) who was holding in his right hand the seven stars (1:16) which were the seven angels (1:20) of the seven churches (1:20) in Ephesus.

John now addresses the seven Churches mentioned in Rev1:11, one by one. This he does in chapters 2 and 3. Yesterday we studied the introduction to the book and the message to the first and most important of the seven Churches; Ephesus.

Our lectionary text will skip the messages to the Church in Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira (mentioned in chapter two) and also Philadelphia (in chapter 3). However, in today’s text we will look at the Church of Sardis and Laodicea. It is important to say that when you study the text and message to all seven Churches, no two Churches faced the same situation either in their persecution or their response to the persecution. This is a great approach to dealing with an Archdiocese, parish or community. We need to stop painting everyone with the same brush. Every Church or community is unique, its challenges and situations are unique just as the same can be said for every human being.

However, there are commonalities in the way the Churches are addressed. Each Church is addressed by God through the author. This address reveals a very intimate knowledge that God shares about them. God expresses his first-hand knowledge with the words “I know,” mentioned seven times, once to each Church ( (2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3;1, 3:8, 3:15). It is this intimate knowledge of every Church of his, that permits him to lay out their issues, console them, take them to task, warn them of suffering, assure them of his promises. (Recommend you read chapters 2 and 3 to read this for yourself.)

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