How do you greet one another? What if you were sending a letter to someone far away? When was the last time you sent a letter to a family member? Do you send letters to other organizations? Do you reach out to former colleagues?
The art of handwriting a letter on paper has nearly disappeared in our high-tech world. To sit down and write a letter requires a fair amount of thought, especially if you are writing with a pen. No one wants to write half a page only to make a mistake and need to start over.
But what if we were to write a letter? What if we were to write a letter to a church we formerly attended, but left due to a job move? Let’s assume we left on wonderful terms, loved all those we left behind, and really want to reach out to them. You know, we want to let them know what we have been up to and to encourage them to continue their good work. How do we greet them?
Most of us are likely to give a very short salutation. A simple “Church Family,” “Brothers and Sisters,” or “Hey Y’all.” However, that is not how Paul greeted the churches he sent letters to. His greetings were far more formal and lengthier. Not only that, but he greeted them at the beginning and the end of his letters. That is a bit weird to us. It’s not our cultural norm.
Regardless of putting a greeting at the beginning and the end of the letter, look at the greeting Paul uses to end his first letter to the Corinthian church. He includes all of those who are with him. He tells them to greet one another with a hug, as we might say today. He includes his cohorts in the greeting. Wouldn’t it be nice to read a letter that came from a group of people?
I pray we all spend a little time thinking about how we greet one another. I pray we intentionally greet one another. I pray each one of us are willing to greet one another warmly. Think about greeting others. Be friendly. Be loving. Care for one another. Ensure others know you care for them. Be intentional.
1 Corinthians 16:19-20 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.