Lord's Day Liturgy

Recommendation Letters

I met with a pastor friend of mine on Thursday whom I hadn’t seen in over a decade. We greeted each other with a hug, not a holy kiss, and then we used words to tell each other stories about God’s work in our lives and families and ministries.

While it would have made it more difficult to ask him follow-up questions, I would have loved to have him hang out with you all for a while. That would have been all the recommendation I needed.

Paul used this language in 2 Corinthians 3. He wrote a recommendation for Phoebe (to the Romans from Corinth), but he used the letter of commendation illustration with the Corinthians.

Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you, or from you? 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 Corinthians 3:1–3 ESV)

The Spirit of the living God changes individuals; they have names. And the Spirit of God changes groups, families and cities and cultures. The Spirit unites us; there is one body and one Spirit. He unites us in Christ so that we work together and suffer together and fight together and stand together. We share the love of God together as we eat and drink in remembrance of Christ. He is writing us together like a letter.