It seems like the practice of writing letters is out of style. Today we send emails or text messages, but letters are just too time consuming to write. Recently after the death of President George H.W. Bush we got to see and hear the love letters he wrote to his wife Barbara. They were full of lovely romantic overtones. When is the last time you actually wrote a letter with a pen and paper?
God has written a love letter, not with pen and paper, but with the Word that became flesh and blood. In John 1:1-2 scripture says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” God’s love letter to us became flesh and blood and dwelt on earth. For 33 years you could read that letter on earth, now we can read it in the sacred scriptures. In ancient Greek thought, the Greek word, “logos” suggests a divine mind that unites reality. John enlarges that definition to say that Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s thought and mind. Jesus is God’s letter to us from God. What does God say in that letter? I believe His letter in Jesus tells us three things.
* He included us – God has included us in His plan of redemption. We are to carry the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth. That includes your next door neighbor and coworkers. In II Corinthians 5:20 Paul said, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Let’s be faithful in 2019 to share our faith and the wonderful plan of redemption.
* He inspires us – I am inspired by God’s love for people. The love of God was perfectly manifested in the life of Jesus. People inspire us when they act benevolently and do a good deed. God is the supreme example of love and grace. In John 3:16 the Amplified Bible says, “For God so (greatly) loved and dearly prized the world, that He (even) gave His (One and) only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him (as Savior) shall not perish, but have eternal life.” God is a great giver and He inspires us to give love and grace to others.
* He instructs us – The love letter of Jesus instructs us. Can you just imagine what kind of a world we would have if everyone just obeyed the teaching of Jesus? The Sermon on the Mount would be enough to change our world for the better. We worry and fret about so many things yet in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Jesus instructs us to look to Him and seek His kingdom then God will supply all that we need.
God has sent us a great letter. It is a New Year’s letter for 2019. In that letter He included us, inspires us and instructs us. May we be faithful this New Year to share the letter with others. As the wonderful hymn, “Let Others See Jesus in You,” says, “Let others see Jesus in you, keep telling the story, be faithful and true, Let others see Jesus in you.”
Rev. Richard Humphries
Pastoral Care & Sr. Adult Minister