This week in our chapel at RBC Ministries, we heard a message from Jesus’ letters to the seven churches, the first one, addressed to the church in Ephesus. It was a church that was doing all the right things evidently, and yet was in danger of losing out altogether because they had forsaken the love they had at first, probably referring to their first love for Christ. The message was in terms of remember, repent and return. It was good, and touched me deeply as I reflected on it afterwards.
The speaker pointed out that romance in some ways is similar. My own words (I suppose) along with his in describing that: We fall head over heels in love and can do nothing but think of them all the time. After marriage, in time our relationship can become routine, and fall into a rut. And then our eyes might rove, or wander to someone else. And that can happen in our relationship with Jesus.
I have wondered sometimes, probably many times, just why I can’t seem to break free from some fears or anxieties. Not that I haven’t had other struggles as well, but anxiety issues have been a major issue, sometimes largely choking the word of God that was in me. The thought came to mind, and it began to dawn on me that one key I was lacking and perhaps the most important one (though others are essential, such as loving our neighbor), is the lack of a deep love relationship with the Lord. That is not to say that I don’t deeply love the Lord, or know something of the depths of his love for me. It is saying that far too often in my life, that was more of a head thing than a heart thing.
What is true of our individual walk as believers, is certainly true of an entire church (thinking local church) as was true of the church in Ephesus. In fact Jesus was addressing a community, of course made up of individuals. They had, in the words of Jesus, forsaken the love they had at first. Somehow they were to return to that first glow, to that first love. Hopefully deeper, but as the motivation, the driving force (if that’s an acceptable way to put it) of their lives and service.
How is our love life with the Lord? And then with each other in Jesus? And with all others in the world? This gets at the heart of what is to be our hearts in and through Jesus, as we walk through this life together in him for the world.