These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live—where Satan has his throne. (Rev. 2:12–13)
Redlining is an illegal banking industry practice that denies lending to customers because of the racial or ethnic demographics of the neighborhood where they live. It was named after the maps that were created by government loan officers to designate areas of a city where people of color, refugees, and immigrant groups lived. Redlining contributed to racial segregation and concentrations of urban poverty, among many other problems. It was a demonic way of perpetuating “good” neighborhoods and “bad” neighborhoods along discriminatory lines. It is not always a good thing for the bank to “know where you live.”
But when Christ knows where we live, it ought to be both comforting and reassuring. Since Satan is active in both “good” and “bad” neighborhoods, Christ is less concerned with where your neighborhood is located than with what guides its values and life. Christ comes to our communities brandishing a double-edged sword, a symbol of the Word of God that cuts two ways—by giving both guidance and correction. He wants to dethrone Satan and provide his own lordship in your neighborhood.
Jesus’ command to love our neighbor was usually followed with the question, “Who is my neighbor?” The simple answer God gives is that everyone is your neighbor; it’s your neighborhood that is the problem. Satan lives there. Thankfully, Christ knows where you live.
Think of ways to place Christ on the throne where you live.
Rich Eckley is professor emeritus of theology at Houghton College (NY). He is an ordained Wesleyan minister and enjoys—with his wife, Lynn—entertaining four active grandchildren.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.