Discover more from Faith Seeking Understanding
A Letter to the Church in Ephesus
Reflecting on the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost: One Day after Sunday (Year A)
Psalter: Psalm 86:11-17
Old Testament: Genesis 16:1-15
Epistle: Revelation 2:1-7
Psalter: Psalm 6
Old Testament: Micah 7:1-7
Epistle: Revelation 2:1-7
Lord God, friend of those in need, your Son Jesus has untied our burdens and healed our spirits. We lift up the prayers of our hearts for those still burdened, those seeking healing, those in need within the church and the world. Hear our prayers that we may love you with our whole being and willingly share the concerns of our neighbors. Amen.
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
“I know your works, your toil and your endurance. I know that you cannot tolerate evildoers; you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not and have found them to be false. I also know that you are enduring and bearing up for the sake of my name and that you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember, then, from where you have fallen; repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this is to your credit: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone who conquers, I will give permission to eat from the tree of life that is in the paradise of God (Revelation 2:1-7).
In Revelation chapters 2 and 3, the risen Jesus through John offers counsel to seven churches located in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). In 2:1-7, the church in Ephesus is the focus.
John commends the church in Ephesus for their deeds, hard work, perseverance, and their intolerance of wicked people. He acknowledges their efforts and recognizes their commitment to the faith.
However, John also rebukes the church in Ephesus for forsaking their first love. He reminds them that they have lost the fervent love they initially had for Christ and encourages them to remember the height from which they have fallen.
John also instructs the church to repent and do the things they did at first. He urges them to return to their initial love and devotion to Christ, reminding them of the importance of love as a central aspect of their faith.
If the church in Ephesus does not repent, John warns that Jesus will come and remove their lampstand from its place. This suggests a removal of their status as a church, symbolizing the loss of God’s presence and blessing.
Finally, John promises that those who overcome and hold on to their love for Christ will have the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. This is a future reward for those who remain faithful.
John’s counsel to the church in Ephesus includes commendation for their deeds and perseverance but rebuke for losing their initial love for Christ. He instructs them to repent, return to their first love, and warns of potential consequences if they do not. He concludes with a promise of reward for those who overcome.
This letter is a good reminder for the church in today’s world.
PRAYER: Redeeming Sustainer, visit your people and pour out your strength and courage upon us, that we may hurry to make you welcome not only in our concern for others, but by serving them generously and faithfully in your name. Amen.
Follow me on Instagram here.