Most of us do not write letters any more because it is so easy to keep in touch with cell phones, texts, email, instant messaging, and social networks. I have to admit that I cannot remember the last time I wrote a handwritten a letter. This is because I can jot my thoughts down so much faster by typing, and if I am going to type out what I want to say, I may as well send it via email. I used to spend my summers in college writing letters to my boyfriend who would become my husband. One summer, my best friend was out of the country and I wrote regularly to her only to find out that she received about two letters from me (some countries do not have a dependable postal system). I would write several pages in each letter letting them know how I was doing and how much I missed them. As I read through the last few verses in Ephesians, it reminded me of how a good friend would end a letter with some personal statements. Please read what Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:21-24.
The first thing that Paul says in this letter is how he has sent Tychicus to give them a report on how Paul is doing. I think this is a beautiful statement of how much love there was between Paul and the church in Ephesus. Paul is making sure that the church hears a report of how he is doing because he knows they care and want to know. Paul establishes Tychicus's credibility by telling them that he is "a beloved brother and faithful helper," which will help Tychicus while he is with the church in Ephesus. Paul also lets the church know that Tychicus is there to encourage them as well. I think this was important for the church because they were facing a lot of opposition. I'm sure that after a while, they were feeling discouraged. Have you ever been through a tough time and finding yourself feeling discouraged? Sometimes all you need is to have someone who is outside of your circumstances to step into your world and give you encouragement. This is what we are to do as the body of Christ! When a member of the body is hurting, we should all be praying for them and stepping in to encourage them.
The last thing I want to look at is the blessing that Paul writes in closing. "Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ." What a beautiful blessing! First Paul prays for peace over the believers in Ephesus. I think that having the peace of God is what allows us to do the good things He has planned for us. We find peace in the hope we have in Christ. The next thing Paul prays over them is that they would experience God's faithful love; this is a love that will never fail. He also prays eternal grace over all believers. Eternal grace. That is something that just overwhelms me! What a wonderful hope we have in Christ; to experience grace eternally. What a personal and beautiful ending to an incredible letter.
Are you establishing a personal relationship to those in the body of Christ? Do you recognize and believe in the hope, grace, peace, and faithful love we have in Christ?
Linking up with Thought Provoking Thursday and Experiencing the Love of Koinonia.