My very dear Sisters and Brothers,

In all things I wish you the grace and peace of God, the mercy of Christ, and the great communion of the Holy Spirit. May your lives be paragons of peace and love, according to the will of the One whose will is in all things. Amen.

Timothy has written to me of your struggles, and though I have not been with you, my spirit is forever in your company. I am moved to speak to you by the inspiration of God in the hopes that your turmoil be resolved and your good works proceed unhindered by doubt and division.

First, it is important to know how very human conflict is. What, after all, was it that set Christ upon His cross, from which became our universal salvation? Now there will be some who say, “But if it were not for our weakness and pride, Christ would not have needed to be crucified for our sake.” I ask you, if not pride, if not weakness, would there not be something else? What of vanity? Or greed? Or licentiousness? Or disparities of every kind? It is our humanness which makes us broken, and that is only redeemed in the one capable of redeeming—Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Do not, then, think of yourselves as immune to humanness. There is to be conflict in many things, and though we must strive to be peaceable in our relationship with each other and with God, it is often through such struggles that we come to truly understand our genuine selves. For the fight against sin is precisely what reveals divinity within us; it speaks of our inclination toward good and our bondage to human nature.

I counsel you to be as patient as your spirits allow. Do not incite argument for argument’s sake, but be gentle with those whose struggles are greater than your own. Never accept injustice as justified by retaliation. For the old laws have been put to death, as has death itself. We no longer give an eye for an eye taken; but we turn the other cheek. Remember well the new covenant, bound in love. For love is forever patient, kind, and humble.

And more than humanness as a gateway to sin only and a harbinger of evil things, remember well that our being as God’s creation is good inherent, and though sometimes wayward, is blessed with gifts beyond measure. For we are creatures who know love, peace, kindness, and mercy—creatures whose spirits lean toward light even in the darkest hours.

I will be with you shortly, though I am with you always in spirit. Be strong and be sure in the love of God. For there is no other thing of which we can be so sure, than that which once called us into being and now sustains us.

I remain forever you brother, your friend in Christ,

Jeff