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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Today’s Scripture Reading | Revelation 3:7–13

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens: “I know your works. Look, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but are lying—I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. I am coming soon; hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. If you conquer, I will make you a pillar in the temple of my God; you will never go out of it. I will write on you the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem that comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” (NRSV)

The Book of Revelation is meant to reassure a beleaguered people. Many people have tried to decode the rich metaphors used to offer comfort and to encourage right action. But the poetry of the book offers powerful meaning if we can allow ourselves to let go of literalism and open ourselves to the human emotions being addressed.

To the people “who have so little power,” John of Patmos conveys a message from God. “I have loved you,” God says. “I have opened a door in front of you,” God says. “Hold on to my word and my name,” God says, “and no one will be able to take the crown that I have given you.” When we do this, we become as steadfast as pillars that hold up the temple of God and God’s name is written on us. We belong to God, even when we “have so little power.” God is with us. Hold on to hope. Be steadfast.

Dear God, write your name on my heart. Give me the strength to do the things that need to be done. Help me to understand what those things are. Guide me, and strengthen me. Help me to feel your presence always with me. Amen.

Written by Nanette Sawyer, Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Small Group Ministry

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