Good Letters Written

https://i2.wp.com/thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/files/2012/07/rembrandt-apostle-paul-in-prison.jpgI went to summer camp for a week, I was twelve, and Mom wanted me to write her a letter from camp.  Over all the summer camps, I remembered to write her once or twice.  OOOOPS.   Mom’s letter-writing has been unfathomably consistent throughout the years.  She has been faithful.  A faithful letter-writer.  You know (and you do know) that there have been many letter-writers through the centuries.  Faithful letter-writers: some known, some unknown.  And, there have been some good letters written.  Paul.  Now he was quite a letter-writer, and his letters were good letters, although quite disruptive at times.  I think his bold letter-writing had something to do with why so many folks were really, really ticked off at him.  He was shaking up the way things worked at that time; he antagonized the power-brokers; and he confronted mediocrity / problematic behavior.  Paul’s second letter to Timothy is an example of what I am thinking about right now.  (Image below from cairesinperu.com)

http://cairesinperu.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/apostle-paul-in-prison.jpg

The following are roughly paraphrased excerpts  from 2 Timothy, along with my own thoughts inspired from this letter.

“Hey, Timothy … Apparently I have, once again, ticked off some particular folks, and here I am, once again, in police custody.  They aren’t going to let me out this time.    I think this might be the end of the road, but soon it will be the beginning of the rest of eternity.

 Listen, my friend, I need to communicate some important things, since this might be my last letter.  I want to make sure you know … that I have always thought of you as a son.  I have great respect for you.  I have great hope that you will continue on in this ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And, at the same time, I truly hope that you can stay out of jail … unlike me … And I hope you can avoid getting beat up on.  Its not all what it is cracked up to be.  What I am passing on to you needs to be, in turn, passed on to other believers.  What I am writing comes out of ‘… the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus …’   I think of you and those you meet with, continually, and that leads me to pray for you.  I wish I could see you all.  Timothy, I know your faith is strong.  I also think of when your grandmother and your mother prayed for you, and prayed specifically about your giftedness, and they encouraged you in your giftedness.  You know, Bro, God has not given us fear … nor has He intended us to have fear.  No.  What He wants, among other noble and honorable things, if for us to embrace His redemptive power, His love, and a sound mind.  Well, I need to take a break on this letter-writing session … I’m suddenly very tired.”

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One thought on “Good Letters Written

  1. Excellently written. I love the idea of paraphrasing the original. Did anyone do more to shape Christianity, other than Christ Himself, than Paul? I wonder…

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