Greetings from Haiti. The sun is bright; the air is hot; and God’s people here are so gracious. I am at Emmaus University, teaching a five-day intensive graduate course on “Ethical Challenges of Leadership.” I have 16 students and a most gracious translator. I divided our class into four groups. One of those groups has been praying over and studying Revelation 2:1-7—the Church in Ephesus that has many positives but is called out because they have “lost their first love.” The assignment for this group is this: “How do we help the church and leaders to fall in love with Jesus (again)?”
As I think about this in my own life, and for our church, I begin to wonder if this is at the heart of our Vision to look, live, and love like Jesus. One has little to no motivation to look, live, and love like Jesus, unless, or until, they fall in love with Jesus (again).
If I may adjust the focus, I am apart from my beautiful bride for these ten days. I am very much in love with Ellen. Saying good-bye at the end of our end-of-the-day WhatsApp video call can still bring a tear to my eye. I miss her dearly and am counting down the days until we are reunited.
The challenge is to have—not the same, but—an even greater longing for Jesus than I do for my bride. I have learned that when I am struggling in my relationship with the Lord, my problem isn’t so much my devotions but my devotion.
I am eager to rejoin my church family for this Advent season. As we come together to “The Table” (our Christmas message series), I pray that the joy of Christmas will rekindle our hearts, and that we fall in love with Jesus (again). I pray that we will not be called out like the Church in Ephesus was. While there are many positives about our beloved church, I pray that the greatest of these will be the strength of our love for Jesus.
Falling in love with Jesus (again)! May it be God’s blessing to each of us, as well as family, friends, and neighbors who join us at The Table!