In today's world of instant messaging, e-mail, and voicemail, a handwritten note is a rarity. I receive hundreds of e-mails at work each month, and I am rarely moved by the 12-point Times New Roman font that lines the screen, even though the words may express joy, anger, curiosity, or fascinating tidbits of information. However, when I reach into my mailbox and retrieve—amongst the stack of computer-generated bills, advertising, and credit card offers—an envelope with uneven, ballpoint black ink words, my heart leaps. These pieces of mail usually bring good news—a thank you, an invitation, an update from family or friends in a different state, or sentiments of love and encouragement. Even if the message is painful—news of a death, a personal grievance, or a rejection—the flow of the handwritten script is gentler because of the thought and time invested in its creation.
In comparison, reading God's Word from the pages of a Bible can easily become rote and lack a personal touch. Before the printed word, the Bible was a series of letters—personal letters. When the Galatians or Ephesians received either praise or reprimand from Paul, it was handwritten and delivered with love and concern, not cut and pasted out of convenience or duty.
During the Bible study portion of your small group, ask each person to spend the last 5-10 minutes handwriting a note from God to themselves. Use the following prompts:
- What would God say to you about the truth we discussed tonight?
- What would God ask you to change in your life?
- What is God's encouragement?
- What is God's promise?
Give each person a blank note card and envelope with postage attached. Instruct them to seal the note in the envelope and address it to themselves. Collect the completed notes and mail them after two days. Consider engaging in this same exercise each week for the duration of a study. Every week, each person will receive a handwritten note filled with God's love and concern—a meaningful message in a world of convenience.