Monday, October 26, 2020
Letters of Light
To keep things simple, we’ll call the eight “letters” we are about to read, explore and pray through the Letters of Light. They are: Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John and Jude. Six of them open with a salutation (to specific people, groups of people, or generic) (James, 1+2 Peter; 2+3 John, Jude). Hebrews does not have a salutation but concludes with greetings of a personal nature. 1 John does not have a salutation either but has a personal (“letter-y”) tone to it.
Why “Letters of Light?” Three reasons: The letters are, of course, about the way of life into which Jesus, the Light of the World (Gospel of John 8, 12), brings us. They offer encouragement to the People of God to be the Light of the World (Matthew 5, 14-16). And- I like the alliteration of the “L’s.”
Some themes contained in these Letters of Light are very much like the themes in Paul’s letters: caution about false teachers, promotion of the Christian life, love as the cornerstone. As the Gospel spread, believers found that the ways of the Roman Empire in which they lived were not compatible with the way of the Gospel; these letters sought to bolster Christians’ faith, hope and charity. Persecution for the faith was increasing at the time the letters were written, so reflections on suffering also find a place in them.
Something to consider:
Why is the letter to the Hebrews called the letter to the Hebrews? Stay tuned.
Fasten your seatbelts and make sure your seats are in their upright position.
The Holy Spirit is about to sweep us into the world of the Letters of Light.