Revelation 3:1-2 (NIV)
1“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits[b] of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.
The advancements of technology are amazing. What was once impossible is now possible. Like the invention of suspension bridges that can withstand more weight than conventional bridges, for example.
But then again, not everything that is built lasts. Take, for example, one of the first suspension bridges ever built in America. It was built in 1856 over the Montmorency Falls near Quebec City. It was the pride of Canada. A beauty in conception!
5 days later it collapsed, taking its bridge keeper, his wife and a bridge visitor for the ride of their lives. The engineer didn't fare that well either, when he was indicted for criminal negligence.
A more recent bridge, Bridge 9340, that spans the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, used to carry 140,000 vehicles daily, making it the fifth busiest bridge in Minnesota. On August 1, 2007, during the worst possible time of the day, rush hour, it collapsed, killing thirteen people and injuring 145 others. The cause? A design flaw!
We could name numerous other disasters of technical wonders that never lasted long enough to fulfill their intended uses. One thing they had all in common: they were all flawed with flaws indiscernible to the eye!
One day we, too, may realize that we are left wanting. In fact the New Testament urges us to "wake up!" as more often than not we forget our true purpose in life.
"I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up!" (Rev 3:1-2 NIV)
These words are far from flattering, don't you think? But if we really meditate on them we have no choice but to agree with them.
As Christians, our reputation is that we are truly alive. Didn't Jesus say "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)? We are the ones who are called "alive" and who are to bring that "full" life to others. However are we truly "alive"?
How many times don't we sing worship songs with frowns permanently etched into our faces, with our thoughts geared towards the mundane? How often don't we go to church wishing it was over before it even starts, or perhaps we don't attend at all? How many times are we eager to open God's Word to hear directly from the One who is called the Lover of our soul? How frequently do we communicate with the One we call Lord and Saviour? Do we share that jubilant life with those we call "our friends"?
Are we truly alive or are we dead? Who wants to dream their life away? Maybe it is time to wake up!
The apostle Paul urges us to: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." (Eph 5:14 NIV)
The only way we can truly experience real living is if we wake up from our stupor and let Jesus be the One who shines through us. He is the One who gives true purpose in our lives.
"Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." (Eph 5:15-16 NIV)
We, too, are wonderfully made, but we, too, can become flawed if we don't let Jesus change us from zombies into creatures of light. We, too, can crumble under the weight of those who trust us, unless we let Jesus be our energy.
We were meant to be alive, not to crumble into everlasting sleep!
On January 23rd 1938 a terrible wind storm blew over Lake Erie, propelling an abundance of ice down the Niagara River and over the Falls. The ice accumulated at the foot of the Falls and started to push against the bridge abutments and the hinge supports of the arch. This caused severe structural damage, and the people of Niagara Falls were aware that it was only a question of time before the bridge would eventually collapse. Word got out, and numerous tourists and locals waited in the cold to see the bridge's downfall, which eventually happened four days later at 4:20 in the afternoon.
Rather than attracting people to come and witness my demise, I'd rather they come to the One who not only makes me alive, but can make them alive as well. What about you?
Dear Lord, may we become fully alive according to your purpose. May we soar above the clouds so that others will indeed know that we are a follower of the Way, Your way. In Jesus' name. Amen.