(Part 109)


November 17, 2014

Today’s reading:  Revelation 1:1-5, 2:1-5

John writes, “for the appointed time is near.” (v.1:3b). We are in the end times. But Jesus has not returned, almost two millennia later. Well, that just means we are almost two millennia closer to when Jesus will indeed return. The time given us, and the Church, is intended for the work of proclaiming the gospel, so that many more can be saved, before Jesus comes again.

In a way we in CFC-FFL are like the Church in Ephesus. We have a lot of good going for us, and there is a lot of spiritual work we have done. We have grown in spiritual maturity through three decades. “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked” (v.2:2a). We indeed have gone through the ups and downs of ministry, suffered much hardships and pain, but we are still here, still serving. “Moreover, you have endurance and have suffered for my name, and you have not grown weary.” (v.2:3). We are still determined to fulfill our mission.

But we also have faltered, not just in our evangelization, but also in our zeal for community life. For over a decade now, fidelity to covenant has been waning. Rather than burning like wildfire, some seem to already have burned out. Thus our God holds us to task. “Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first.” (v.2:4). How we act is always about how much we love Jesus.

The downside is manifested in various ways: weariness rather than persistent endurance, other priorities rather than the one priority of God, disunity in community, dissent within the body, infighting among leaders, faltering attendance at households and gatherings, lack of financial generosity, resisting our response to the New Evangelization (LCSC), and so on. Do we actually “realize how far (we) have fallen?! (v.2:5a). Are we still complacent, even smug?

The Lord says to us today, “Repent, and do the works you did at first.” (v.2:5b). What did we do at first? From the very start, it had always been about evangelization founded on family renewal. And such evangelization is rapid, massive and worldwide. For a time we were searching for answers, for how to turn things around. Now the Holy Spirit has already shown us the way. It is the tandem of CFC-FFL family renewal and LCSC massive evangelization.

No more excuses. Just humble submission. And obedience to God. “Otherwise, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (v.2:5). Repentance is a radical change in “direction,” not more of the same. It is about how we live our community life and do our Church work.

I pray that with our repentance and renewed response to God’s call, God will allow our lampstand to stay in place, and even shine brighter.

*     *     *