Greetings and Salutations!
I Timothy 1:1-2
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, to Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
In the American culture alone there are dozens of ways to greet one another. Gestures such as a handshake are general and accepted among strangers. Other greetings such as a hug, a kiss, a salute, a bow, or a curtsey acknowledge a certain relationship and respect along with the greeting.
In informal written correspondence, often Americans write “Dear _______” at the beginning and “Sincerely, _________” at the end. More often in emails I write “Hi ____” and just sign my name at the end. Though we tend to use very short written salutations, I think there is much to be learned from salutations in the Bible.
In I Timothy 1:1-2 Paul gives a lengthy “To – From” greeting establishing himself and his purpose. This is intended for Timothy, yet God and Jesus are noted five times total. Of course both Paul and Timothy were Believers, and still Paul references the source of his faith and hope, Jesus Christ. The letter is deeply enriched by the eloquent salutation.
So what does this mean for us? I am not suggesting that we cover our written messages with a lengthy testimony. Nor am I saying that we just ignore today’s verses, citing cultural differences. Let’s examine what we might do to sincerely and effectively communicate our faith and hope in Jesus Christ in our salutations.
Today I intend to sign my email correspondences and letters with the reference to today’s verses. I pray you will also join in this exercise and include a Bible verse in your greetings. Let us proclaim our faith just a little bit further and a little bit stronger.
I Timothy 1:1-2
Copyright 2012 Karen Vaughn