An email arrived from a friend of our daugher's, whose husband is starting a facial plastic surgery practice. They are offering free Botox injections if you are willing to be part of their advertising and pose for before and after pictures. Watching Pamela Anderson on Dancing With the Stars the other night was enough to scare me away. My initial response was "Yikes! I think I will just stay wrinkly and squishy (as my grandson describes me)."
Visiting my 92 year old father this week, I asked, "How are you?" "I'm old, " he replied. Immediate conviction came that I need to come up with a new greeting. Out of habit, I bet 90% of us greet one another with "How are you?" While some of us are sincere in our questioning, many of us would be shocked if the person replied, "I'm constipated, have an ulcer in my mouth and itching like crazy from a tick that I pulled off in my groin area."
Let's check out Paul's letter greetings as an example of how we could change it up when we encounter or correspond with one another. What if our emails began with:
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus..."
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
"Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen"
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."
"Grace and peace to you. We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."
What if when we shook someone's hand, instead of "How are you?" We said,
"Grace and peace to you today. Where have you seen God working today?" or
"Grace and peace to you today! Isn't it grand that nothing is too hard for our God!" or
"Praise the Lord, Jesus is alive! What has He been doing in your life?" or
"I am so thankful for you. God's goodness has me giddy today!"
Challenge: send me some of your God greetings and I will open the devotional with them.