How do you address recipients of your letters? Emails? Text messages? Have you ever stopped to think about why you address recipients in that way? Common greetings include, "Hi" or "Hey," and sometimes in more formal addresses, "Dear." What does that convey to the person receiving your letter or message?
The greeting that seems to have been used by the early church, and that we find in Paul's letters to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians and to Philemon was this: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Paul also writes in his letters to Timothy: "Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." Also worth noting is John's Apocalypse addressed to the seven churches (which probably means the church as a whole); it reads: "Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come..."
There is something that seems unfulfilling about writing "Hey" to begin an email. Even beginning a letter with "Dear" seems a little bit weak in comparison to the longer, more formal "Grace to you and peace..." So why do we use the greeting we do? Is it for reasons of economy of words? Do we value efficiency in our writing so much so that we cannot take the time to write more than two to four letters? Do we value efficiency in our life so much so that we cannot take the time to write at all?
If you answered the previous question affirmatively, be comforted in knowing that you are not alone. We also find ourselves in chains, bound to a fast-paced, ever-moving, ever-changing, technologically savvy, rushing and busy world and culture. Thus, we want to take a little bit more time to reflect and to grow with you. We welcome you to read and interact with our thoughts in the posts to come.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.