Love Letters

May 13, 2018
by JJ Ollerenshaw

Romans 1:1,7a – [From] Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God — To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people. (NIV 2011)

1 Timothy 1:1-2a – [From] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy, my true son in the faith. (NIV 2011)

When I was a child, I loved the sound of mail being pushed through the letterbox and landing whisper-soft on the doormat. I had several pen pals all over the world. I did not know their language, but they all wrote fairly good English. I was interested in the way they lived. I found their homes in my atlas and collected their postage stamps in an album. I often received souvenir postcards, which I pasted into a scrapbook. Some of my pen pals soon grew tired of writing, but I corresponded with others for several years.

Years ago, airmail letters were written on a single, thin sheet of blue paper which was folded to create its own envelope. Handwriting had to be small, and nothing could be enclosed. When I left England, I wrote regularly to family members, and fifty years later, I still write letters to my 92-year-old mother every couple of weeks. I stay in contact by email with friends and other members of my family, as well as my best friend from high school.

Receiving mail, no matter how it arrives, has always been a big part of my life. My two childhood dreams were to travel and to write, and I am so blessed that I have been able to do both. Now retired, I also write letters of encouragement to prisoners.

The apostle Paul was not only a preacher (and often a prisoner), but he was also a letter writer. He travelled about the Roman province of Asia (Asia Minor) planting new churches. Continuing his journey, he wrote to instruct the leaders of the churches. They read the letters aloud to encourage new Christians. Paul's letters were treasured and shared with nearby churches. They were kept and copied, and eventually placed together with other writings to form the New Testament, then bound together with the Jewish Scriptures to make the holy Bible.

Paul began ten of his letters, Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. He wrote with authority, sometimes admonishing the new converts, but always teaching them with great love and caring. His words were inspired by God, and they are His love letters to all of us.

Have you ever come across a stack of your mother's old love letters, tied up with a ribbon, that have not been read for a long time? How often do we read God's precious love letters to us?

More than kisses, letters mingle souls. – John Donne, poet.

Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, Your Word is Your love letter to us, and we treasure it. Thank You for giving us Your message of love and good news. Alleluia from Your children here on earth. Amen.

About the author:

JJ Ollerenshaw <sandjollie86@gmail.com>
Belleville, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good word, JJ.


    Thanks for this devotional. I have been reading and rereading the biography of the apostle Paul by John Pollock. I am so impressed by the fact that it was the love of Jesus which kept Paul faithful through so many difficulties.


    Good Morning and Greetings, this Mother’s Day and every day. Yes, God is Love, and those who truly love are of God. Just as we are told by Jesus to give love, we are also made by God to receive love – His love. This giving and receiving is what makes life worth living!
    Blessings to you this day.


    Hi JJ,
    In middle school I began a penal correspondence with a girl in England. We wrote for YEARS but alas, the writing fell by the wayside with the years. I do wish I knew where she was. She had married…I knew that…but then the trail was lost.
    How apt your comparison to the letters to us from the Lord. Thank you.


    I was sporadic in my letter-writing until I was visiting my Gramma for lunch one day and there was a very soft noise at the front door. My gramma jumped up from the table, literally ran to the door and came back dancing because she had a letter from… someone! After that I wrote her every week, picturing her dancing and laughing. It was SO GOOD! I agree. Letter writing may be a dying art form but… it’s the best! Thanks for the reminder.


    How delightful!
    I still love getting mail.
    As I child l had pen pals too and saved all the stamps just as you did.
    I also remember the thin air mail letters.
    And like you travelled and went to some of those places.
    You brought back some happy memories.
    Thank you for that and the spiritual insights.


    Amen JJ! Reading God’s love letter to us, the Bible, is a wonderful privilege that believers in bygone eras didn’t have. This truth was recently brought home to me through an award winning book, The Ruby Ring, written by a modern Missionary in the orient, Karen Rees. The struggle our forebearers faced to provide the Word of God widely to ordinary people was daunting and even life threatening. May we always hold the privilege of reading it in our own language lose to our hearts. Blessings.

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