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Reverend Paul Collings BTh (Hons) - - - paul.collings@methodist.org.uk - - - 01392 206229 - - - 07941 880768

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Tuesday 23 May 2023

What does the Spirit say to the churches?


To the church in Sardis - the sleeping Church -  Revelations 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God. & 5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. 6 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

“I hope you didn’t take it personally, Reverend,” an embarrassed woman said after a church service, “when my husband walked out during your sermon.”


“I did find it rather disconcerting,” the preacher replied.


“It’s not a reflection on you, sir,” insisted the church goer.


“Arthur has been walking in his sleep ever since he was a child.”


In today’s reading the writer of Revelations is concerned about the church at Sardis sleepwalking to the extent that they are missing the opportunities to share their faith. In Luke we find Jesus saying. “Be on your guard—see to it that your minds are never clouded by dissipation or drunkenness or the worries of this life, or else that day may catch you like the springing of a trap—for it will come upon every inhabitant of the whole earth.“You must be vigilant at all times, praying that you may be strong enough to come safely through all that is going to happen, and stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36 - J.B. Phillips New Testament)


Another story tells of a Minister, who while preaching, noted most of his congregation was asleep. He stopped the sermon and asked a deacon to pass the offering plate. The deacon woke up red-faced and reminded him the offering had already been taken.


His response; “Never mind, take up another one. I intend to make them pay for lodging as well as spiritual food.”


By the time the second offering was taken up the congregation was wide awake. We may well ask, “how awake are we?”


Lord grant that I stay awake, remain watchful, stand firm in the faith, out of my love for you. Amen.


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