Friday, July 5, 2024

The Ichthys Letters: Pain and Glory


I am so excited to share this Ichthys Letter with you all today. There are more on the horizon as well. Since I began this series back in February, The World of Kedoshim has grown. It is no longer just a vision hanging on my living room wall and in all honesty, there is actually less space on that wall now. 

As I begin to work on the next part of the story in book 3, this letter takes us to the end of Finding Philemon, just before Demas and Onesimus leave for their journey to Rome around 95AD. Many of the Founders are long gone and this one letter will usher in the final era of The World of Kedoshim. Yes, I know, I'm just getting started, but do not worry, there is a specific reason I am releasing this Ichthys Letter now, feel free to post your guesses in the comments below. 

To My Dear Brother Onesimus, 

I am pleased to know you and am honored by your request. It would be my pleasure to visit you and the church in Ephesus. My fondness for the church there was a guidepost for me during my exile on the island of Patmos. In truth, my time on Patmos was very revealing and I cannot wait to share my visions with you, Demas, Marcus, and the others.  

It will be a joy to care for the Ephesian church once more. Gaius, the scribe who has become a son to me, will be traveling with me. He remains excited to see his loved ones and has become of great use to me. The two of us will arrive in Ephesus before you and Demas depart for your journey to Rome. 

Please prepare a room for both of us and know that I am excited to speak with you face to face rather than with ink and parchment. Meeting together in this way will undoubtedly offer us both some much-needed time away from the goat skins we use to fabricate our materials to write our invaluable letters to each other. 

While our great God has never seen fit to send me to Rome, the conversations we have shared in our letters regarding your time there with the other Founders have revealed much to this old disciple's heart. The pain you suffered over the years because of that place could not have been easy to endure. Rome is desolate and I understand your continued struggle. 

The pains we have both endured in life lie deep within the very core of our spirit and they have made us who we are. Is it fair to those of us who understand these pains to continue to endure them? No, I do not believe it is. Is it part of who were are called to be? My Child, Yes, of course. Our Savior endured much of the same pains we have and it is an honor to be chosen for such a time as this.

The way of glory is before us, dear one, and while our great God has called you away from the peace you have found in Ephesus, know that I will remain there to shepherd your flock for as long as it is needed. I know our paths have rarely crossed, but when they have it has always been good to speak with you deeply about the agony we have both endured. 

While I cannot fathom some of the specifics of your experiences, I continue to believe the similarities we do share between our two paths in life have woven us together through the bonds of spiritual sonship. We have a God whose love surpasses all pain, and this love offers all of us a light in the darkness that breeds around us. In the midst of this darkness, His love encourages us to find our way back into the glorious riches of His graceful embrace. 

Do not doubt your strength or knowledge about this attribute of our faith. You have a gift for understanding the glory the Father offers us and do not need anyone to show you the way. So, dear child of God, continue to live the life you have been given. Fear will only hold you back and cause you even more pain than you have already endured. If you continue to follow the teaching you heard from the beginning you will remain in the Father and he will remain in you. 

Let us not lose sight of the promises we have already been taught and learn to confidently speak with others on these matters. These are the last days and I have seen many visions that have assured me of this. We cannot assume there is nothing to fear and that the peace we have both found will remain. The enemy is out there hiding in the darkness and we are called, through the light of His glory, to shine His light in the midst of the darkness.  It falls to us to guide our brothers and sisters, as well as our sons and daughters, home.

As I have already stated, my experiences on Patmos were a revelation to me, and they remind me of the lessons I have learned about the true path of glory. I am eager to consult with you regarding these insights, if only for a season, before your journey to Rome. 

I understand you will be gathering with our brothers and sisters in Christ there to speak on the matter of God’s glory and am confident our conversations beforehand will be helpful to you and Demas both.  Gaius and I will assuredly depart from Antioch and begin our journey to you before this letter arrives. He expects it will be a matter of days between the delivery and our arrival. 

To the Ephesians, I John, and your brother Gaius, are coming! When we arrive, we will speak about many things. It is encouraging to hear that your faith continues to grow. Let us embrace our joy together as children of God when we come. Peace be with you all.

Thanks again for visiting 'The Gathering Room' and I’ll see you in the pages. 


PS (You can find The Cyprus Journal, currently available to download at this Amazon Link. You can also follow my author hub, Writing the Journey,  on Facebook.)

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