The church of Sardis was one of the Seven Churches of Asia. The capital of ancient Lydia, Sardis signifies "prince or song of joy", or "that which remains.” Sardis was famous for arts and crafts, and was the first center to mint gold and silver coinage.. The great earthquake of AD 17 ruined Sardis physically and financially. The Romans contributed 10,000,000 cisteres in relief, an indication of the damage done, but the city never recovered.

Sardis was noted for its wealth because of its textile and jewelry industries. Located on the slope of Mount Tmolus, it was almost impregnable. This easily defended city fell to invading armies twice before because the people became overconfident and the defenders left the walls unguarded. The interest of the city in the imperial cult, which was stimulated no doubt by the emperor's gracious act, is shown by its competition with Smyrna for the privilege of representing the Asiatic cities by erecting a temple to Tiberius, an honor which went to its rival. But the power of the monarchy had been, too slight to prevent reek colonists from taking possession of the whole coast, cutting it off from the sea and controlling the mouth of the river Hermus, on which Sardis, its capital was built (7th century BC).

The church at Sardis is known as the sleeping church. You have a name that lives, and are dead. It is called upon to awake, to strengthen what remains, an indication that the church is still around today. The white garments are the symbol of righteousness and immortality and they replace the mortal body and constitute the immortal body of the saved.
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