In this series I have looked at letter openings and closings. Lots of treasure that is often overlooked and ignored despite being fully inspired and massively preachable! Here are a few closing ideas to pull the series together:
1. Preach a whole book through the lens of a key element in the letter frame. By taking an opening greeting, a doxology, or whatever, it is possible to introduce and preach the big message of an entire epistle. This could function as a stand-alone message.
2. Introduce or conclude a series in a book using opening or closing elements. Instead of sounding like an introductory page in a study Bible (i.e. just giving a bland author, recipients, date, occasion, map, etc.), diving into the body of an epistle and ignoring the opening or finishing a series abruptly, consider the value of an overview intro or conclusion that is a legitimate exposition of an inspired text.
3. Consider a series of doxologies, closing prayers, or whatever, with whole epistles reinforcing each message in the series. This would be a challenge for the preacher, and might require some awareness from the listeners, but it could be highly effective. It would help us break out of a “standard section length for every sermon” approach. Whole books have big ideas that transform lives. Letter frames offer summaries that root those ideas in shorter texts.
What other ideas would you add? How have you heard a letter frame preached effectively?