From Devotion to Decor

From Devotion to Decor

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Rev 2:4

Ephesus receives a stern rebuke and warning, first was the rebuke; “Consider how far you have fallen!” Then the warning, “Repent and do the things you did at first or else….”

“Consider how far you have fallen,” is literally, “from what great height.” They have fallen, at a dizzying speed, from a high position to one of low estate. The reason for this fall? “…because thou hast left thy first love.”

A woman once related the history of her grandfather’s Bible. She stated that her grandfather had been a very devout man and cherished his Bible—dutifully reading and studying it ever night. Her grandfather blended his daily life with his Bible so much that he not only wrote in the margins regarding his thoughts on various verses but he also wrote, as kind of a diary, many of life’s ongoing events in the margins also—such as dates of the birth of his grandchildren and things that were newsworthy, etc.

At his death his only daughter was given the Bible. The daughter treasured the diary-like margin writings and read them at times reflecting on those historical notations that her father had made with the passing of time. Since the dates of her children were noted in the Bible the daughter decided to give each of her children, all three of them, the page where their grandfather had denoted their birth on certain pages of his Bible. Tearing three pages out of the Bible she presented each grandchild with a page that marked their birth.

The woman relating this story was one of those grandchildren. She said that she and the other two grandchildren framed their pages and hung them on their walls as simply an art decor object. Thus in just 2 generations the beloved Bible went from an object of devotion to an object of decor.

The grandfather had a personal and intimate relationship with his Bible—his daughter esteemed the notes in his Bible more than the scriptures to which they were written near and counted the Bible as more of a diary than a compendium of divine Wisdom—her children, the grandchildren, only looked on the fragments of their grandfather’s Bible as something to adorn their walls with. How different and quickly the meanings had changed—from devotion, to diary, to decor.

This was also the case of the church of Ephesus who had left their first love and had, as a consequence, fallen from such a great height to the lowlands of carnality.

Leaving your first love always ends in a fall.

— jlg —

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