Letter writing. I fear this is becoming a lost art. I fear the loss of a handwritten note for handwriting is unique to each individual–like a fingerprint. I am so thankful for letters/cards from my Daddy, recipe cards with my Mamma’s beautiful cursive, love letters from the officer and gentleman, a three by five card that said, “You are still 21 to me!” on my over the hill birthday, a stickee note with atrocious penmanship from the oldest inviting me to lunch for Mother’s day, cards of appreciation from the older Beauties, crayon pictures of angels and horses from my young Beauties, and a drawer full of cards, notes, letters from friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love the unexpected text message that sends a quick “I love you and miss you,” but I cannot frame it, or always save it. You cannot bundle these and tie them up with a ribbon and go back down memory lane on a cold, rainy afternoon in front of the fireplace, wrapped in a blanket and feel the warmth of love and gratitude flooding your heart.
Paul spent a great deal of time writing letters. His only form of communication with his fledgling churches as he sat in prison awaiting execution. When time is short, getting what needs to be said, said, is of vital importance. Paul was actually writing to the Bride of Christ Jesus.. He took dictation from the Holy Spirit, and conveyed the Bridegroom’s message of love and expectation, promise of return, assurance of His Presence, and explanation of His absence. Love letters written in red: His blood.
John the Beloved wrote too. He wrote to the Bride to tell her all she has to look forward to when her Bridegroom returns; He is building her a new home and when it meets the Father’s approval as complete, Jesus will return as King on His white steed and swoop up His Bride and take her home! And this is no fairytale, this is His covenant PROMISE.
The miraculous thing about these letters is that 2000 years later, they are still being circulated. Fragile parchment, inked by quills, and sealed with wax arrived at their designated locations guarded by the foot couriers and carefully rewritten thousands of times without error, translated into hundreds of languages, and alive with the Spirit of God. It has been said if you just had one page of these precious Words on a deserted island it would be enough for the Spirit of the Living God to use to bring a searching heart to salvation. AMAZING! The Word is ALIVE!
In Ephesians 1:1, Paul’s salutation to the Christians at Ephesus said: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote this letter literally as from Jesus, not himself! It occurs to me that we too can extend the love of Christ to others by our writing when we follow the unction of the Holy Spirit to encourage, share truth, to extend assistance, teach a truth, share an experience, offer reminders of love that exists for the recipient, and even reprimand if necessary.
Paul shared his prayers for those he was writing too and asked for prayer for himself while he was, according to tradition, in a Roman prison awaiting trial.
Paul was very learned. He would make the most meticulous grammar teacher proud. Used all the parts of a letter: Heading, salutation or greeting, body of the letter, closing, and a signature. Every “i” dotted and every “t” crossed. Every word with just the right meaning. Every verb utilized the perfect tense. Examples always understood. Signed, sealed, delivered. Read, circulated, shared, and cherished.
I have family that cherish my notes and some that read and immediately deposit in the trash (not a sentimental bone in their body, God love them!).. I am so thankful to God for the faithful who cherished the notes He sent to all of us and they were protected and preserved for all of us to read and pass on to others. I am thankful Paul was obedient to the LORD to act on His behalf and convey His Word to His Bride while Jesus is occupied building her New City, preparing her wedding celebration.
We too can act on His behalf as directed by the Holy Spirit to write down a few lines of encouragement, appreciation, apology, Holy Spirit inspired direction, and reminders they are loved and cherished by the Father. Take a timeout and pick up a pen and a piece of paper and fill a heart with a bit of grace.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Written in Red I Love You Janet Paschal
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