TEXTS AND APPLICATION: In our world of Internet, email, and social media, it’s not often that I hear anyone say what John said to the recipients of his second and third letters — one a local congregation, and one a believer named Gaius:
2 John 1:12 Though I have many things to write to you, I don’t want to do so with paper and ink. Instead, I hope to be with you and talk face to face so that our joy may be complete.
3 John 1:13 I have many things to write you, but I don’t want to write to you with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.
I’m deeply grateful for the increased means by which we can communicate today, but seldom is anything as effective as face-to-face conversations. Where email can’t easily express emotion (and is thus often misread), two people talking together can more readily express their hearts. Likewise, a few questions of direct conversation can quickly resolve issues that sometimes take hours of email exchange — and that often still require a conversation. Face-to-face, we can talk, listen, respond, hug, and love one another. One-to-one, we can build relationships.
As we finish the Christmas season, we’re reminded again that God didn’t only write us a letter when we were lost in our sin; instead, He came to us. The Savior came to sinners. God lived among us. Yes, He inspired a book for us that we read every day, but the story of the book is a God who took on flesh. He came to us face-to-face.
ACTION STEPS: Perhaps there is someone with whom you need to speak face-to-face today. Maybe you need to seek reconciliation. Or, maybe you just need to say, “I love you” to someone today. Instead of sending an email or writing a letter, have a conversation today.
PRAYER: “Father, I’m grateful that You came to us face-to-face. Help me to show Your love to someone today . . . face-to-face.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Revelation 1-5