Good Thursday morning.

Little Ole was having trouble with his arithmetic. when Great Grandpa came in the room, Little Ole said, “Grandpa, vill you help me find da common denominator?” “Uff Da,” grumbled Great Grandpa, “Dey were looking for dat ting when I vas in school! Haven’t dey found it yet?”

Today we get the entire 2nd letter of John. It may have been written by someone other than the writer of 1st John, but the love language follows the same pattern. The opening line indicates the writer is an elder of the church writing to one of the Johannine house churches in Asia Minor.

1 The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, 2 because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:

3 Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

4 I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. 5 But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.

7 Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! 8 Be on your guard, so that you do not lose what we have worked for, but may receive a full reward. 9 Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 Do not receive into the house or welcome anyone who comes to you and does not bring this teaching; 11 for to welcome is to participate in the evil deeds of such a person.

12 Although I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink; instead I hope to come to you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect sister send you their greetings.

This is a strict warning against offering hospitality to the dissidents. To aid them would be to participate in their diabolical work. The new commandment to “love one another,” is definitely an identifying Johannine mark. Ancient letters frequently end with a notice of the sender’s future plans.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue