12Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.
13The children of your chosen sister greet you.
Such a short conclusion with a lot to derive from it. another reoccurring theme in the bible is fellowship. You see, John could have easily said, “until I write next time” and left it at that. It would have been easier. Instead, he ended with a promise of making his way to who he was writing to and greeting them face-to-face. I think this is where the term “keeping in touch” may have originated. You can’t touch someone with a letter. You need to physically be there to touch them.
In today’s world of technology and instant communication at our fingertips, we too easily allow that to replace our face-to-face fellowship with friends and family. Sometimes it is a necessity over long distances. However, we should not let that suffice. We should make an effort to see one another, if only occasionally. For that is what lifts us up. In “biblical times” people met face to face often and broke bread together. Letters were only a means of letting others know you were on your way.
Verse 13 seem undefined, given we don’t really know what John referred to as their “chosen sister.” It is suggested it was a church. To me it originally seemed like, “oh, you’re writing to that church? Tell them we said hi.” Nowadays, half the time the message doesn’t even get relayed. Back then, I’d like to think people were more genuine and placed more importance on relationships. It is a reminder that we need to stay in contact with one another. Whether between churches or between individual brothers and sisters. Too often I fall into the trap of “well, they haven’t sent me a message so why should I?” What if they are thinking the same thing?
Reach out. Think about someone you haven’t seen in a while and make the effort to do so. Don’t rely on the laziness of this world, rather promote the relationships of the Kingdom.