Email, texting, instant messaging, tweets, status updates and sometimes a letter…I’m totally convinced that God knew that one day man would cease to use his voice to communicate with others. However, I still get excited each year as Christmas cards begin coming in the mail. Many will have a Christmas letter included in the card. Sometimes the card is the letter. The letters are warm and written with rich details of the year’s accomplishments, milestones and family updates. Families and communities aren’t as close as they have been in past decades. There was a time when your family and friends all lived in the same town as you and you didn’t have the need for a yearly letter, everyone shared information with conversations over diner, card games, a child’s sporting activity or at church. Church wasn’t just an hour and then you went your separate ways, sometimes church lasted into the afternoon with a Sunday supper at the church or in one’s home. There were phones but they hung on the wall and you had to stay in the room where the phone was to talk, it didn’t go everywhere with you. I would assume not many chose to write a letter to their neighbor about the gospel. I believe that was probably discussed over a glass of lemonade on a front porch or over a morning cup of coffee.
I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. 3 John 1:13-14
Although John is writing to Gaius, with glad tidings, a warning, instructions and his impending arrival, you can sense the urge to share much more with Gaius. Isn’t that the way it is today. We have all of this technology at our fingers but sometimes, you just need to speak to someone face to face, because you know the meaning might be lost in the words. Emotions, actions, and the tone of voice, coveys so much more meaning when words are spoken face to face. I am grateful for the letters written by John, Paul and others. They were necessary due to the distance between the churches as Christianity spread across the land. Interestingly enough, if it weren’t for the many letters written in the Bible, we might not have the Bible we do today. In those days imagine how long it took a letter to get to the recipient. And just imagine how they were preserved and in time added to the Bible.
Many attempt to share their faith in writing. I see many who will quote scripture on facebook, tweet a Bible verse and such. Many blogs such as this one, offers heart felt stories and commentary around Biblical topics and verses. And I guess this is all fine, although I think many opportunities are lost or avoided all together because we don’t make an effort to meet with others and share the gospel “face to face”.
I think my post today was just as much a letter to myself and others to remind us to take those opportunities to meet with neighbors, family and co-workers more than the world seems to do today. I plan on spending more time with people face to face and less time through the keyboard.
It is my prayer that God intercedes in this desire for me and provides the opportunities to share the gospel, my story and the gift of the word with more people face to face.