God has a large family. In God’s mercy and plan, many of us have had the opportunity to meet other family members in different countries. Even with language barriers, the Holy Spirit knits the hearts of God’s people throughout the world together in love.
As John (the Elder), concludes this brief second letter, he communicates greetings from a “sister” church.
“The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.” (2 John v.13)
There are many personal greetings at the close of most of the New Testament letters. At times, N.T. authors devote practically an entire chapter to communicate specific tokens of love and appreciation to specific readers who are part of local congregations. In other letters, such as 2 John, the greetings are simply ‘one-liners.’
Christianity is essentially all about relationships. God initiated a relationship with people and has communicated His love and interest in a variety of ways and places and ultimately in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. Those brought by God’s grace into a living relationship with Him, are also brought into relationships with others. In Ephesians 3:14ff Paul writes, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name…..” We all bear His name, if we belong to Him.
Family reunions are dynamic events. Some families never get together but others make their gatherings a regular priority. Those who can’t make it often send greetings, in person, in print, in photos, etc. At the big meals, or as part of a structured program, these greetings are communicated to the rest of the clan.
What is John doing in verse 13? He is connecting believers with other believers. Christians need the encouragement of knowing they are not alone. Others care, others know, others pray and are engaged with the gospel advancement around the world. I think we call this ‘missions,’ don’t we? And as some travel between the various branches of God’s amazing family, they like John pass on greetings.
Though technology has its down side, and has spread evil in a plethora of ways, Christ-followers can use it redemptively. Personal, prayerful, purposeful greetings may be shared daily or at least regularly with others in the kingdom, until God Himself reunites His children at an unknown future date in the largest Family Reunion the world has ever known. Until that day comes, let’s send out greetings!