1The elder to the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in truth; and not only I, but also all who know the truth,
2for the sake of the truth which abides in us and will be with us forever:
3Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father.
It seems the addressee of this letter is not quite known, whether it is a specific person or a church. I’d like to think it is to a church that John visited and he is sending them a letter of encouragement.
I’m really starting to enjoy these greetings and salutations in letters of the Apostles. To me, it is a template of how to greet one another. Not to be a cookie cutter way of talking to people, rather a condition of the heart of how we should greet and treat one another. How true brotherhood/ sisterhood looks.
John’s greeting has a few points I’d like to emphasize:
1) Love. He starts by identifying with the person as someone he loves. This is God’s gift and commandment to us, to love.
2) Truth. He establishes how and why he loves them. THE Truth that abides in them as well as himself and reminds us that we are all linked with that truth and therefore eternally related. It is why we call each other brothers and sisters in Christ.
3) Grace. Another gift from God, in my veiw, the most important because without His Grace, we are unworthy of His love.
4) Mercy. We are afforded mercy because of the cross. This mercy, in turn, should be reflected through us as we relate and interact with others.
5) Peace. The overall result of the previous 4 elements. It is because of love, truth, grace, and mercy that we experience peace in this world. We were never told it would be easy. A Christian life is one that is difficult to lead. The difficulties, however, can be blanketed with peace if you deal with it God’s way. I’ve witnessed it myself and have been able to compare it to if I had done it the way I have in the past.
I truly believe if we focus on these 5 elements as gifts and commandments, our lives will be enriched beyond measure. I don’t mean there won’t be difficulty and I don’t mean we will all be blessed with a lot of money. I mean we will be rich in life, full of joy despite our circumstances.