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Published: August 20th 2015
Info on the Ancient city of Sardis
One of the 7 Churches addressed in the Book of Revelation
There are seven churches in Asia minor that are addressed in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. We were in/or near four of the seven today and we'll be in Ephesus later this week. I don't know much about the Book of Revelation, but this journey is transforming these abstract communities into real people with real struggles.
As we speed down the highway after landing in Izmir (Smyrna), we are surrounded by beautiful mountains, fields of grapes, figs (fresh figs from the road side stand are way better than Fig Newtons), oranges and many other fruits. On this hot, muggy day, we had the chance to visit Sardis and Laodicea and walk among the ruins of the Persians, Greeks, Romans as well as early Christian and Jewish peoples in these ancient cities.
In Sardis, we stood in a fourth century church and listened to the words of John of Patmos (the author of the Book of Revelation) as he exhorted the people of this early Christian community with his words penned in the late first century, “I know your works, that you have the
reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Be watchful and strengthen what is left...” (Rev 3:2) Doesn’t this exhortation still ring true for many of our own Church communities? In what ways, do we long to become more alive?
Similarly in Laodicea, we listened to the words addressed to this “wealthy” yet “lukewarm” (Rev 3:16) early Christian community as we stood near the ruins of the Church of St. John. This community was tremendously wealthy because they sold a unique black wool throughout the world. Was it their wealth and life of leisure that contributed to their lukewarm faith? How many of us are lukewarm in our own Christian life because of worldly distractions?
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