You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3)
Whether it’s the sight of the UPS truck pulling up to the door, the thick bundle of letters in the box or the email alert that pops up on the screen, we like to get mail. Sure, there’s sometimes some bad mixed with the good: the occasional bad news, bills or useless junk mail or spam. But the mail we hope for is a note from a friend we haven’t heard from lately, a box with a birthday gift, a handwritten card or an e-card with fun music and animation that says someone was thinking of you.
In the Scripture passage above, the apostle Paul compares Christians to mail, describing them as a letter from Christ. What a neat comparison! As Christians, we’re sent out like so many letters to the world. We are addressed to the people in our lives: to our next-door neighbors, our classmates, our co-workers, our families–to everyone we encounter in the course of a day. And we are to be the kind of mail that everyone hopes for: not junk mail or bills, but a personal message bringing the gift of good news. In fact, the good news we carry brings the ultimate answer to the bad news we face in the world every day. This good news, of course, is not something that we made up: Paul reminds us that we don’t write the letter ourselves; rather, we are written upon: written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. We are letters that God has written by calling us into faith in Him.
This description of Christians as letters reminds us of every Christians duty to share the Gospel. It’s easy to slip into thinking that pastors and missionaries are the ones who function as mail carriers to bring Gods message to the world. While ministers do have important roles in sharing the Gospel, that’s not the end of the story: God, working through the words of the pastor, writes His message on the hearts of the congregation members. Like letters going out from a central post office, members leave the service to be delivered to various addresses to everyone they interact with during the week, reaching far more people than the pastor alone ever could. Some churches have signs posted in their parking lots that proclaim, “You are now entering the mission field.” This is a great reminder that were all missionaries. Even if we never leave the United States, the mission field is all around us if we only have eyes to see it: “As Jesus said, I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35b).
We pray: Heavenly Father, give me eyes to see the opportunities I have to share the good news of Your love every day. Thank you for writing the personal message from Christ, the best news ever, into my heart. Give me confidence to share that message, knowing that it is Your power and Spirit that touch peoples lives, working through me as Your messenger. In the name of Your Son Jesus, who is the content of this joyful news in my heart, I ask this. Amen.
Published October 2008