Letters First

By Pastor Kevin Baird

"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons." - Philippians 1:1

It is easy to forget that the letters in the New Testament were originally just that, letters.
Of course, God guided their authors and the Holy Spirit revealed to the Church their efficacy and power as scripture, but they were also letters written to individuals, churches, and groups of churches to encourage, correct, train, and connect. Some were written to dear friends and others were written to deepen connection or make introductions.
And why were they writing?
They wrote to encourage brothers and sisters in their commitment to Jesus.

If we lose sight of this objective, we miss the heartbeat of the New Testament, which is to help Christians faithfully endure all things until we join together with Christ Jesus in eternal life.
What letters are we writing?
It seems a worthy question to consider.
How are we encouraging one another to be faithful? What spiritual questions are we asking? What spiritual truths are we reinforcing? What stories of God’s faithfulness are we sharing?

The frequency, quality, and breadth of our letters (whether on paper, text, or email) to one another might be one mark of our spiritual commitment to one another and a sign of our health as a church. Let’s continue to use this ancient mode of communication to deepen our love for Christ, one another, and our shared ministry to the world.

Father,
We thank you for the deep connection we have as Christians and that we see so clearly in the New Testament letters. Help us to give simple spiritual encouragement in a variety of ways and in particular as we write to one another.
To the glory of God, the praise of Christ, and the fellowship with the Holy Spirit, Amen
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