“I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand.”— 1 Corinthians 16:21, Colossians 4:18, 2 Thessalonians 3:17

Paul wrote letters. Personal, hand written letters to people he loved. As William Barclay said, “Of all forms of literature a letter is the most personal,” and because Paul wrote so many of them, we feel like we know him after we’ve read the New Testament.

Think about the letter Paul wrote to the Roman church. A personal, heartfelt letter that became one of the most powerful and influential pieces of writing in history. We call it the Book of Romans.

This particular letter to the Roman believers influenced some of the most powerful conversions in history: St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Wesley, and John Bunyan, who read Romans while imprisoned in a Bedford jail and was inspired to write the classic Pilgrim’s Progress.

Taking the time to sit down and prayerfully and thoughtfully communicate to a friend, co-worker or relative through the written word can open doors to communication, teaching, understanding, and sharing God’s love.

Whether you pick up a pen and paper, type on your computer, use social media, or send an e-mail, take the time to write to someone and share your life.

Maybe you just need to say thanks (Paul did that a lot) or encourage someone, or mend a relationship, or impart ideas, or bless someone with your expression of love or friendship. Paul and the other apostles did all those things through the letters they wrote —many of which became Holy Scripture, God’s love letter to us.

Letters leave a legacy.

Reading a long ago letter from a young soldier or student away from home, or parents to children, lovers sharing their hearts, or families sharing news, condolences or congratulations —letters bring to life our histories, our ancestors, our understanding of one another. They leave a record of hardships, blessings, love, and faith.

Taking the time to write to others is an opportunity God gives us to minister to and love other people. He set a wonderful example for us by making the written Word His chosen form of communication to us.

“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.”  ~John Donne