Red Letters

Have you ever heard someone tell they were having a “red-letter day”? You don’t hear it as much anymore, but once in a while someone will say it when they’re describing a particularly great day or a day that holds special personal significance. What’s interesting is the history of the term “red-letter day.” The term came from Medieval church calendars which highlighted particular dates in red ink. The First Council of Nicaea in CE 325 set aside saint’s days, feasts, and other holy days as days that would be printed in red ink. Thus we got the term “red-letter day.”

I’ve been experiencing a different kind of “red-letter day” each day of the New Year so far. I don’t know where this started, but someone decided to print the words of Jesus found in the Gospels in red letters just like the early church decided to highlight their holiest days of the year in red letters. I’ve made it my goal this year to read the red letters of the Gospels and then meditate on them to see how they apply to my life. It’s been an interesting journey so far. It’s not like I haven’t been impressed by Jesus before. Heck, He’s the Lord of my life! But I have to say Jesus impresses me all over again with His simplicity, His authority, His deep insight into what’s really going on in the hearts of people, and His compassion. If you’re looking for a fresh take on your daily devotions, try having a “red-letter day” every day for a while. Read the words of Jesus and see what it does to you.


About Andy Lewis

Andy is an author, pastor, and musician who lives in Santa Cruz California. Currently he serves as lead pastor at Faith Community Church in Santa Cruz
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