The Envelope Please!
One day in September, the postal person brought the usual junk mail and bills. One gaudy envelope stood out. Stamped on it in bold letters were the words: “Personal and Private.” But it was addressed to “David Rose or Present Occupant.” The envelope boasted far more than the contents produced.
A few years ago, I received a large glossy envelop with gold and purple lettering. It looked like it was from the Queen of England or the Prince of Persia. When I opened it, they were selling local real estate. The envelope was far more impressive than the contents.
Last week, I received a non-descript envelope that was addressed by hand. There was nothing on the outside that prepared me for its’ contents. Inside, there was a lovely letter of encouragement and support. The outward envelope bore no resemblance to the inward message.
Even though we often use email, or texting, physical mail remains important. The word envelope comes from the Anglo-French word envoluper. It means to wrap; to put a covering completely around; to completely enclose or surround someone one or something. The envelope as we know it, became available for general use in 1820 as a means to protect hand-written confidential messages from prying eyes. Today, no one would think of mailing a letter unless they use an envelope.
But do not be confused, the message inside is far more important than the container (envelope) which carries it. Do you see the amazing Biblical analogy? 2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT says, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.”
This powerful verse clearly describes the body of each Believer as an container (envelope) bearing the Treasure of God. This Treasure or Light is the knowledge of the Glory of God, Eternal Life. The envelope, the body, is but an earthen vessel that is fragile, and susceptible to afflictions and even death. The envelope will one day return to dust. But the Message that it contains is Eternal and life-giving.
The challenge for us Believers is to remember priorities. The Message is more important that the container. In this way, we give glory to God above ourselves. We must be careful to not favor the wants and needs of our bodies above the Will of Christ Jesus. Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”
Remember 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” Question: How goes the battle?