This past month (December) most of us have probably been attending several reunions (e.g. Family, high school or college, office mates, etc.). And in some of those reunions there were probably a few babies.
- When we see babies our usual reaction is, “Aawww” and not “Ngyeh”. Because babies are cute and even if they haven’t taken a bath they still smell nice. Almost all people show a gentle fondness for babies.
- People probably reacted to us that way when we were babies.
- But now that we are all grown up, the humored reaction is “What happened to you?! You were so cute when you were a baby! You grew fat or your nose got so big! What happened to your hair?!” Clearly, we don’t look as cute anymore, compared to when we were still babies or toddlers.
Churches have that same reaction at some point.
At the start, because we are a new creation, because we are clearly and sincerely declaring the excellencies of God (cf. 2 Cor.5:17; 1 Peter 2:9-10), we are cute. There is a sense of abiding and warm attractiveness to people, to fellow believers. The commendations that the Lord made on some of the churches in Revelation are with us; we are the church of Ephesus in Revelation (STILL with their First Love intact).
- We share the Gospel; we stand up for the truth; we censure sin in love; we show love to the brethren, even to our enemies; prayer is alive; people are praying for all things (from the small to the great); people are enjoying the Word; people are enjoying and thanking God for the privilege of ministry and being part of a local church.
There is no denying that the Name of Jesus Christ, the name of God is powerfully seen in the life of the church. The church is indeed a site to behold!
But somewhere along the way that changes.
Because of the sin that creeps in, we slowly become dirty.
Our view and love for God has diminished, we no longer consider ministry and the church a privilege—
- (The cell servants which we used to thank God for are now the greatest irritants of your life); clearly the love has gotten cold.
Da Vinci’s Model of Christ.
- We can be likened to that story (As to whether fiction or not) about the model of Lenoardo Da Vinci for his painting The Last Supper. The story alleges that Da Vinci used the same model for Jesus Christ and Judas in his painting of the Last Supper. He painted the young man, 19 years old at that time to portray Jesus Christ. And painted the same man years later as Judas.
- The man was unrecognizable to Da Vinci because of the years spent in crime and sin.
As the guards were leading their prisoner away, he suddenly broke loose from their control and rushed up to Da Vinci, crying as he did so, “O, Da Vinci, look at me! Do you not know who I am?”
Then, lifting his eyes toward heaven, the prisoner said, “Oh, God, have I fallen so low?” Then turning his face to the painter he cried, “Leonardo Da Vinci! Look at me again for I am the same man you painted just seven years ago as the figure of Christ.”
Wouldn’t that be a sad thing to say as a church?
- “Look at me, we were a church! Oh dear Lord how could we have fallen so low?”
As offensive and difficult it is to swallow such a comparison, it is nonetheless possible and real for the Lord’s church. Instead of magnifying Jesus Christ, we are now only fit to portray the one who betrayed Him for the price of a slave.
When the church has fallen so low, the church must seriously bring into conscious thought and active life the need for God’s revival.