2 “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. Revelation 2:2-4
I had a funny conversation this weekend. A group of us were talking about a popular chain restaurant close to the campus. One person said, “Oh that place is really missing stuff, its not that great; its terrible.” So I ask, “What is it missing?”
Now at that moment, I was wondering if its menu was deficient. Or if this was a nutrition complaint coming at me. But no.
She said, “They have lost the love.”
Me: “They lost the love?”
Her: “Yeah. They don’t show any love.”
Franchises typically pride themselves in having all the same stuff. But love can’t be franchised or systemized. Love must be made fresh daily.
So it is in our relationship with Jesus. As the church, we can do all the common work of being church, but if we do not allow our hearts to be renewed by the Spirit and drawn again to the joy and delight of Jesus in the Gospel, we will have “lost the love!” Just going through the motions, while commendable, is far from the life Jesus has called us into. In fact Jesus notices both the quality of the work and the “add-ons” created by love. He calls to us just as he did with the church of Ephesus to enter again into the heights of a life inspired and fuelled by Him. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.”