April 22, 2019
I’m happy to welcome back to the Daily Text our friend, Omar Rikabi. He will lead us for the next few weeks. After that, (beginning June 3) I’ll be back with a six month series on the Book of Acts. – J.D. Walt
2 John 1
This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to the chosen lady whom I love in the truth — as does everyone else who knows the truth.
I wrote my first letter at five years old. Actually, I dictated it to my mom. My friend next door was mean and didn’t want to play with me anymore. My feelings were hurt, and I wanted to share my hurt with someone special: my grandfather, Paw-Paw.
Through tears and sniffles I told the whole story and how I was sad and how I really, really, really wished I could be with my Paw-Paw on his farm and how I couldn’t wait to see him again. Then we sealed it up and mailed it the next day. A couple of weeks later, I got his letter back saying how sorry he was and that he couldn’t wait to see me, too.
My grandmother took a picture of him sitting in front of the garage reading my letter with his favorite rat terrier, Little Bit, sitting in his lap. He has a deep smile on his face as he reads, the kind of smile that exists when a Paw-Paw and his grandson are best friends. It’s a picture I still have sitting above my dest as I write this.
Although my mom was my scribe, my letter was personal. I only wanted it to be between him and me, but of course now I’ve shared it with all of you. And that is the nature of this little letter from John. In fact, that’s the nature of several letters in the New Testament: 2 and 3 John, Philemon, Jude, Titus… these letters are written to individuals or to churches that were so small they met in a single room of someone’s house.
And they’re short. Very short. Some are not even a full chapter, just a few verses, and others aren’t much more. These letters are not sermons, but instead they share an intimacy… like between best friends. The kind of intimacy that could begin with “this is just between you and me,” because they write about specific people and specific situations; not the kind of stuff you broadcast to everyone.
Writers like John probably didn’t expect these little letters to end up in the cannon of Scripture for millions to read over the next two thousand years, but here they are. That these personal notes ended up in the Bible tells us that our personal relationships — the things “between you and me” — can have an impact beyond us, influencing people and places for generations to come, even for eternity.
The folks that wrote and read these little letters were people who believed that Jesus Christ was crucified, dead and buried, had risen from the dead and gone to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, and would come back again in final victory.
Which puts them in the same part of the story as us: A resurrection people waiting for Jesus to return. And until then, they dealt with a lot of the same basic stuff we deal with today: the joys and struggles over who Jesus is and who his followers are to be with each other.
So for the next few weeks we’re going to look at a few of these scriptural post-cards — the ones so small they never get their own Bible study or sermon series — to see how things can be made and kept holy between you and me.
Word of God, between you and me, would you prepare me during this Easter season to have your living word written into my very heart and soul. Amen.
Has there been something in your faith journey that seemed personal at the time, but later God used to have a bigger impact for the Kingdom?
For the awakening,