A colleague told me recently that she’s been reading through the letters in the New Testament, and she’s specifically been noticing the greetings at the beginning of each letter. She loves the way those greetings affirm the reader’s life. For example, Paul’s greetings almost always include “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Peter’s greetings are similar… although he brings the element of “abundance” to his – “Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1 Peter 1:1) And John’s greetings… well, his often lead with love and truth: 2 John 1:1 says “To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth…” and 3 John 1:1 says, “To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.”
In all of these situations, the people hearing these letters could hopefully sense right away that the author esteemed them… that their lives were worth investing in because they were human beings created in the image of God, and the gospel of Jesus was for them.
A simple sacredness of life ministry that you and I can carry out every day is to greet people in a similar manner as Paul, Peter, and John did… with esteem and with truth. Because, when we meet other people, we are in the company of fellow humans created by our God to know Him through Jesus.
We strive to greet our clients warmly and with sincere welcome – because that’s consistent with who they are in God’s sight. How about you and I, in our everyday lives? When we see someone for the first time in a week, or maybe for the first time ever – do we take the time to look at them? Do we seem glad to see them, or like we don’t care whether they’re there or not? Do we say anything at all? Scripture’s example is to be mindful of greeting people in a way that is consistent with their value in God’s sight. It can have a subtle yet truthful impact on their lives, and bring glory to God. We have all been created for Him.