Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ramsey: the wrong wealth

Saturday, September 19, 2015
    Commemoration of Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury, 690
    [Jesus:] “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
    —Revelation 3:14-16 (NIV)
    The ordinary historian would probably not condemn the spirit of Laodicea so strenuously as St. John did. In the tendency of the Laodiceans towards a policy of compromise he would probably see a tendency towards toleration and allowance, which indicated a certain sound practical sense, and showed that the various constituents of the population of Laodicea were well mixed and evenly balanced. He would regard its somewhat featureless character and its easy regular development as proving that it was a happy and well-ordered city, in whose constitution “the elements were kindlier mixed” than in any other city of Asia. He would consider probably that its success as a commercial city was the just reward of the strong common sense which characterised its people. St. John, however, was not one of those who regarded a successful career in trade and money-making as the best proof of the higher qualities of citizenship. The very characteristics which made Laodicea a well-ordered, energetic, and pushing centre of trade, seemed to him to evince a coldness of nature that was fatal to the highest side of human character, the spirit of self-sacrifice and enthusiasm.
    ... Sir William M. Ramsay (1851-1939), The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1904, p. 425-426 (see the book)
    See also Rev. 3:14-16; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant Your people passion for Your word and Your service.
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