I was working on a visitor letter recently to one of the newcomers to our church and had a crazy thought, what sort of things would Jesus include in a welcome letter if He were the pastor here? I don’t think it would be ‘cheesy’ comments such as “your needs are our greatest concern” or some ominous challenge like “get your act together bucko, you’re running out of time.”
Seems to me that Jesus would talk about the availability of living water or the provision of the bread of life that satisfies our deepest hunger. Perhaps a line or two about the promise of resurrection and life eternal. It just always seems like in the Scriptures that when Jesus met someone new, He told them about the love of God. And for the visitor, Jesus might mention that God really loves the world or say something about the New Commandment, that we should love one another with His love.
Perhaps Jesus would include an invitation to share a meal with Him. After all, He told the Laodicean Church (Rev. 3:20) that He was actually at their door knocking, waiting for them to open it and welcome Him in. Of course, He would likely be careful to identify Himself: the Good Shepherd, the Vine, the bread of life, living water, the resurrection and life, the Messiah, one with the Father, etc. And in light of who He is, He might offer the opportunity for the newcomer to self-reflect so as to see their own need for the Savior.
As it turns out, Jesus did write some letters to churches in the past (technically, He dictated them to the Apostle John, who wrote down the words, Rev. 2, 3) but He is doing His welcome letters a little bit different these days. In the book of 2 Corinthians, the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul, describes the Corinthian Believers themselves as “a letter of Christ…” Here is the whole quote,
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some, letters of commendation to you or from you? You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all people, revealing yourselves, that you are a letter of Christ, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Cor. 3:1-3 NAS20
So, it turns out that we, the followers of Jesus, are His welcome letter to the newcomers to the church. And not just to the newcomers but to everyone with whom we come in contact. He is writing to this lost, dark, and hopeless world through the medium of us. That’s why it is so important that we remain in Him, vitally connected to the “Vine” so that the communication of His life and love can be clearly visible in and through our lives. And the great thing about being a letter of Christ is we don’t need a stamp. Jesus has already paid the postage in full!
May God bless us all as we live out the Gospel to everyone around us!
In Christ our living hope,