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Daily Worship


August 22 | 3 John 1:1-6





Sacred Salutations

by Dan Kidd

I got my first email address when I was in middle school. Or, more accurately, my family got an email address, I think because it was a prerequisite for using the dial-up internet portal and service, America Online (AOL). Every time you connected to the internet you'd hear the same series of sounds -- the sharp chirps of the automated phone dial, then some static like you'd hear between radio stations, followed by a few bars sounding like someone attempting to tune an electric keyboard, back to a protracted hum of static until the third icon in the series lights up with a group of people (two of them waving hello) in front of the triangle icon and below it, the words saying "Connected." And then, more times than not, you'd hear a man's voice essentially singing the words "You've got mail." Almost 30 years later, email has essentially replaced handwritten letters altogether.

I honestly cannot tell you when I last wrote someone a letter by hand. And, to be honest, while I appreciate the gesture of the old-fashioned, handwritten letter--the time, care, intentionality, and actual ink put into them -- I certainly don't long to return to the days before email was an option. But there are some things lost from letter writing in this digital age. One such thing is the type of opening paragraph you're more likely to write in a letter than an email. The cordial well wishes, some warm reminiscing, and expressions of gratitude. Perhaps something like the introductions of the letters we find in the Bible?

3 John begins with a truly great blessing from "the Elder," to his "beloved" friend, Glad Heart (Gaius). A blessing that all will go well, that he would be in good physical health as it is well with his soul. We can so evidently see John's paternal heart for Gaius in these opening words--his sincerity and invested care. Have you ever had someone in your life that loved and cared for you this way? I hope you have. Someone who invested themselves in the wellness of your holistic self--mind, body, soul, and relationships. It is invaluable gift to have someone show us, in practical words and actions, the blessings of the Lord. And I wonder, if I were to think about this blessing a bit more, or I were to let it seep in a bit more into soil of my soul, if the Holy Spirit might make me a bit more prepared and predisposed to extend such heartful blessings in the midst of my ordinary days?

And what a blessing it must have been for Elder John in return to hear from afar that his friend is renowned for the way that he loves, even among strangers, within his own church. John's pride in his friend's faith and steady path in the truth beams in this letter. This, sisters and brothers, is the mutual benefit of living in a community that loves, disciples, invests, and equips one another. Blessings abound when we are attentive to what the Lord is doing in and among us. I pray that we would have eyes to see these blessings and lips that speak them over each other.


Father, we thank you for the gift of a Church that blesses one another. We pray, today, that you would continue to pour into us an abundance of grace and love for each other--that we would multiply the blessings you've lavished on us. We pray that we would be prepared and predisposed to encourage, pray for, and bless our sisters and brothers in the faith. Let it be that our love and blessings for one another testify to you. Amen.

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