For the last two Sundays Mark & I have been attending a church that, so far, we have really been blessed by & excited about (if you know what our search experience has been like over the last 14+ months, you know that this is truly a monumental thing! :)) This morning the message was on Revelation 2:1-7 — the letter to the church in Ephasus. It begins with Jesus commending the Ephesians for what they have been doing right: resising evil, keeping impure doctrine/false apostles from infiltrating the church, etc. — but then he says to them (and I’m paraphrasing) “But I have this one thing against you: you have lost the love you first had”. The pastor then gave a very interesting illustration. He said it would be easy to assume that Jesus was “taking inventory” of the church, simply weighing the pros & cons (“Well, you’re doing all these things right, but you just need to work on this one little thing & then you’ll be OK”), but that this was not the case. He then asked us to imagine that we were at a meeting for a bunch of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise owners, where the owner was standing before them all, offering this evaluation: “Well, you do a great job of keeping your stores clean and well-maintained, and your employees are timely and cheerful…but I do have one problem with you: you aren’t selling chicken!”. The pastor suggested that this was the kind of warning Jesus was giving to the Ephesians — that in spite of all the wonderful things they were doing (and not doing), they’d forgotten the point of it all.
It got me to thinking about my own life — how easy it is for me (especially in this day & age with all the Emergent garbage happening in the Church) to get so caught up in what to fight against that I forget what it’s all about. Make no mistake — Christ wants us to continue to fight for truth…but without forsaking our first love.
So may we continually ask ourselves: “Are we selling the chicken?”