I would like to speak to you today about Christ, the center (heart, core, midst) of our Church. What this means for us from the perspective of Revelation 1:11-13 will be discussed. John was on the island that is called Patmos. It was the Sabbath- the Lord’s day (as I showed you the last time I spoke). Then he heard a loud voice behind him as of a trumpet. When John was in a vision he heard the message from behind him. Saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.” Then he instructed to write the message to the seven churches which are in Asia:
- Ephesus- Loveless church
These seven churches are literal churches and prophetically symbolized the history of the Christian church beginning with the apostles and in the church of our time. These characteristics are described and are fulfilled in the present time. John heard this command to write al that he saw and he believed the Word of God. Then he turned to see who was speaking from behind him with a loud, trumpet like voice. Then he turned and he saw an amazing imagery. His action of turning to see as if curious how the voice looks like is insightful. We cannot see the face of Jesus when we do not turn our eyes on Him. When we are distracted with the world we cannot see Jesus. We need to turn our back from the world and behold the face of Christ.
John saw the seven golden lampstands which according to Jesus are represented by the seven churches in verse 20. The seven stars represents the seven angels. But what is amazing is that in the midst (heart, center, core) of the lampstands is One like the Son of Man- It was Jesus who was, is in the midst of the churches. His description of Jesus is exalted and awe inspiring. and he describe first the middle part of Christ’s human body, then the head, then the feet, hand and His mouth. Then he collapsed at his feet.
It is fascinating to me that the human eye is struck by the mid part of the human body. I am not saying that the head or feet are not important, what I am saying is that it was not uncommon for us or John to describe the body first from the shoulder and torso down. When I go to the beach the first thing that catches my eye is the core or the abs whether it is one pack, six packs, or twelve packs. That’s just seem natural to behold the central part of the body.
Here is the first key for us today that Christ is the center (heart, core) of our church. And this means that in our spiritual journey of ups and downs, of cheers and jeers, grief and gladness. The bad times and the good times. Christ is not absent from all these, but rather Christ is present in our experiences. We are called to live our lives in the consciousness that Christ is with us. Psalm 23- Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for You are with me. Matthew 18:10 says that where two or three gathered in His name He is in their midst.
The second key: Christ is the heart of our church therefore Christ does not condemn but rather Christ redeems. Christ is patiently calling all of us to live a life of gratitude, a life of forgiveness, a life of letting go. Let go of sin! Let go of pride! Let go of fear! Let them go! Philippians 3:14
The final key for us today that Christ is in the midst of our church. Christ is not slack concerning His promise but He is long-suffering (2 Peter 3:9). Christ is faithful. He is the promise keeper (John 14:1-3). Amen.