As I have read the Word over the years, I have to admit, I’ve never paid much attention to the “greetings” in many books/letters of the bible. If you’re like me, you read them, but only as a formality in order to get to the meat of the message, right?
Much like the lineages at the beginning of many books of the bible,
so-and-so begat so-and-so, who begat so-and-so and so on…. we just gloss over them.
Now I also admit that as I read these greetings, I think to myself, who talks this way?
2 Peter 1:1-2
Simon Peter a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
Grace and peace to yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord.
I mean, I don’t start many e-mail greetings this way, do you?
But recently the “greetings” have caught my attention. God put them there, so they must have purpose, right? (It’s similar to us: God put us here, so we must have purpose –but that’s a whole other devotional) And then it hits me……they are writing to each other and to those who jointly profess their faith in Jesus Christ. In many cases, they have not seen each other for a LONG time, much like us right now we haven’t seen each other in a long time.
So during this time, as I may wonder about the message of your life and how everyone is doing, I’m not questioning your faith or belief in the God who saved you, but rather finding great comfort in knowing God is at the head of your life. Comfort in knowing that you can rely on Him, lean on Him and trust in Him. Yet, it’s the “greeting” or lack of, that has my attention. There is so much more said in a physical greeting than could ever be put into words. In a single moment all is well in the world because of the greeting of your welcoming faces, smiles, laughter, lipstick kisses (on the cheek), hugs, handshakes or simple nodding of the head as a “how you do’n” gesture. Oh, how I miss the greetings and hope to never gloss over them again….!
In the meantime, altering a greeting in the book we hold so dear (I know we shouldn’t do this), I leave you with this;
1 Peter 1: 1-2 *(3 John 1:14 inserted)
Jeff, a follower of Jesus Christ and grateful for those at SOGF,
To God’s elect at SOGF and abroad, once strangers in the world, scattered throughout Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi and elsewhere, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to
Jesus Christ and sprinkling of his blood:
* I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
But until then Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
(Hugs & Kisses, XOXO!)