hmmm, that’s good!
Veneration v. joining a movement
The Acts 2 church was a movement. The spiritual spontaneous combustion that started in Jerusalem spread across the known world at an astonishing rate.
Yet a few generations later and in places flung far along the Roman Empire, the flames of revival had begun to die down. The fire had dwindled so low that Jesus dictated a letter to Laodicia and Sardis decrying their lack of passion (see Revelation 3).
It’s amazing how quickly passion can dissipate. What once inspired becomes the object of our veneration. We begin to admire what we once worshiped.
Many of us grew up admiring Jesus from a distance. We read his words and find in them values to live by.
We look at his life and find it noble.
We may even study the theology of his followers more than we listen to his voice. He has become an object of our veneration. We no longer worship him.
Meanwhile, in places around the globe where he is not as popular or “branded”, Jesus’ followers belong to a movement. If he doesn’t show up in powerful ways, they are dead.
His words are essential, daily sustenance for his followers.
In countries like Brazil, India, and China, this movement is sizzling. Jesus is building his church there. If he finds his followers elsewhere going through lukewarm motions of “church” – confusing veneration with the sizzle of a worshipful movement – then he still has followers who will give their lives for the movement.
Revelation 3:2 says: Wake up! Strengthen what remains.
Words to tuck into our hearts as we head out next week to try to help stoke some fires.