Several letters in the New Testament: 2 and 3 John, 2 Peter, Philemon, Jude, Titus… are letters are written to individuals or to churches that were so small they met in a single room of someone’s house.
And they’re short. Very short. Some are not even a full chapter, just a few verses, and others aren’t much more. These letters are not sermons, but instead they share an intimacy… like between best friends. The kind of intimacy that could begin with “this is just between you and me,” because they write about specific people and specific situations; not the kind of stuff you broadcast to everyone.
Writers like John probably didn’t expect these little letters to end up in the cannon of Scripture for millions to read over the next two thousand years, but here they are. That these personal notes ended up in the Bible tells us that our personal relationships — the things “between you and me” — can have an impact beyond us, influencing people and places for generations to come, even for eternity.
The folks that wrote and read these little letters were people who believed that Jesus Christ was crucified, dead and buried, had risen from the dead and gone to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father, and would come back again in final victory.
Which puts them in the same part of the story as us: A resurrection people waiting for Jesus to return. And until then, they dealt with a lot of the same basic stuff we deal with today: the joys and struggles over who Jesus is and who his followers are to be with each other.
In Between You and Me, Omar Rikabi takes readers on a journey through a few of these scriptural post-cards — the ones so small they never get their own Bible study or sermon series — to see how things can be made and kept holy between you and me.
Omar Rikabi serves as a United Methodist pastor in suburban Dallas. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three daughters: Sadie, Norah, and Lilly. You can follow him online at omarrikabi.com.
*Church leaders interested in a free preview copy for possible congregational use can email jessie.green(at)seedbed.com.