You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from 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. 3:2-3
We don’t write letters too much anymore, but I do enjoy writing them, and in the early Church, hand-written letters were the only way to receive information from a great distance. All the epistles were originally simply letters written on parchment for one friend to another group of friends, talking about the life of faith in Christ from day to day.
Today those letters are studied and treasured and valued for their importance in giving us guidance for everyday living as Christians.
The great importance of letters to the people of that day is the reason why it is so monumental that Paul calls those who are receiving his actual letter, letters themselves.
We too, as recipients of Paul’s letters, are letters as well. And I love the concept of this. We are not letters that are written with ink that dries up, with we are written with the Spirit of the living God. We have vibrancy and force that will last forever. And we are not written on stone that is cold and unfeeling; we are written on human hearts that are beating and coursing and supplying lifeblood to the world.
If we think about ourselves as letters, then what are we saying? What is our message? The Bible has some thoughts on what we should be expressing in the letter of our lives:
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. —Ephesians 4:32
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. —Colossians 3:17
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control. —Galatians 5:22-23
So think about how these traits can be part of the letter of your life today. I like too how Paul says we are a letter of recommendation. We are to be good examples for others and vouch for our faithful brothers and sisters, not betray them or downgrade them. And we are to be a good representative for Christ himself and mirror in our language what he has inscribed on our hearts through Baptism: You are mine!