This morning we begin with the first of seven letters from Jesus to the seven churches. What does Jesus think of these churches? What does Jesus think of the church? Is there a more important opinion by someone who knows better? Not a chance.
With most every letter Jesus has both something good to say about the individual church, and with most every letter there is a rebuke. To every church Jesus describes an important aspect of his character and to every church he gives a promise.
This morning we look at the letter to the church at Ephesus, a church that had some really good things going for it. Jesus described the church at Ephesus in a way that any church in all of history would love to be described! But his rebuke was stinging in the worst of ways. In spite of continuance in good works, their discernment and endurance, they had lost their first love, their love for God and people. Ouch. How could they possibly get it back before it was too late?