We live in a day and age where through email, texting, and Skype, communication is instantaneous with just about anyone, anywhere in the world. Literally within seconds after posting this blog, millions can immediately read my mental meandering (oh my!). Personally, I like all the technological efficiency.
However, there’s still something quite special and personal in a hand written letter. For millennia humanity communicated this way, and yes, while it was quite slow, it was also quite personal. Letter writing was an art. Our personality came through in our choices of inks, papers, and writing style. The actual inked words could communicate a plethora of emotions from anger to joy just in the way they were scribbled, and what soldier didn’t enjoy receiving a perfume infused note from his sweetheart back home (try spritzing your next text with Chanel #5!).
All that being said, it is quite interesting to me that God chose letters to communicate His doctrine and desire for the Church. 22 out of 27 books of the New Testament are or contain letters to various churches and Christians of the day. These letters not only contain God breathed messages to the 1st century church, but their timeless messages are meant for the 21st century church as well, and their main focus was and continues to be Jesus Christ. John says as much when he writes, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13 NKJV).
Now, if God were to write a letter to you, what would that letter say? Well, you and I are the church, so He has written letters to us. The bulk of the New Testament are those letters. In them, God communicated His love for us and His hope for our lives as we struggle to survive in this difficult world. In these letters, as in the entire Bible, God pours out His heart to us in loving encouragement and instruction. Even the passages on judgment reveal the heart of a concerned Father warning us to avoid such discipline.
We ignore these letters and the rest of Scripture to our own peril (James 1:21-25).