Prayer for the day
Keep me, Lord, as the apple of your eye and carry me under the shadow of your wings.
Scripture for the day
How far have we fallen? The people of Israel were God’s beloved. They were created for the express purpose of bearing God’s love and character to the world. They were the apple of God’s eye, given extraordinary grace and gifts. They were blessed.
And Hosea is forced to pronounce judgment on them. They had rejected the God who had made them, fallen from such an incredible height, because of their arrogance, their pride, and their lust for the gods of the countries around them. They were lifted up, only to be brought low because they had forgotten HOW they got to where they were. It was not through strength of arms, nor through their own cleverness. They were lifted up by the God they forgot, and they were brought down to the depths.
John’s vision in Revelation recounts a similar falling, and a warning to all of those who would be tempted to stray. The churches who receive the letters in Revelation are those who have been created by God with a vision for the world, with a gift for the world, and with a blessing for the world. Their ability or inability to stand for that vision, that gift, and that blessing, determines whether they will stand firm or fall from their heights.
God makes it clear that no church is perfect, but also that through the power of God, the church is called to stand firm, to persevere, to make it to the end. To those who make it to the end, marvellous things are given, things that they do not earn, necessarily, but that are gifts for their perseverance.
May you stand, when all others are falling, remaining firm in the faith of Christ.