Somewhere around 65AD the Roman Emperor Nero (the one who fiddled as Rome burned) banished Jesus’ disciple John to the island of Patmos (a Greek island in the Aegean Sea). While on Patmos John received an incredible Revelation (which became the last book in the Bible). In that revelation John was given glimpses of heaven, of the final conflicts between light and darkness and of the new heaven and earth that God has promised. John also receives, directly from Jesus, seven letters to send to seven churches located throughout Asia Minor (all in what is today Turkey). Jesus tells John to:
Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.
Revelation 1: 11
The letters offer affirmation, encouragement, warnings and corrections. They were important messages for each church to receive and they are just as important messages for the church today.
Were John writing the churches in 2012 (and if he had a good Wi-Fi connection on Patmos) he might trade the scroll for email. He might even use twitter to reinforce the main thing each church needed to hear. Just imagine:
@Ephesus –remember love never forgets #sevenletters
@Smyrna – remember love remains faithful #sevenletters
@Pergamum – remember love knows the truth #sevenletters
@Thyatira – remember love refuses to compromise #sevenletters
@Sardis – remember love wakes the dead #sevenletters
@Philadelphia – remember love never shuts the door #sevenletters
@Laodicea – remember love opens the door #sevenletters
As we explore John’s revelation and these seven letters you are invited to follow along on Sunday mornings and on Twitter, Facebook and BlogSpot
Blog: http://tdoug.blogspot.com/ (you have that figured out if you are reading this)
Use Twitter – tweets and Facebook – posts to make comments and ask questions about the seven letters. If you use Twitter be sure to use the hashtag #sevenletters (and if you have no idea about using twitter, facebook or blogspot – no worries – Sunday mornings are going to be great).
As we listen in to these seven letters we will discover that the church in Birmingham is still called to a reckless sort of love that never forgets, remains faithful, knows the truth, refuses to compromise, wakes the dead, never shuts and always opens the door. Whoever has ears come and hear what the Spirit says to the churches.