Since 1840, the way we send letters, affixing a stamp with an image of the monarch’s head, has changed remarkably little. Well, not any longer.
Perhaps you have already bought some of the new definitive stamps and noticed that there is a QR code on the side. So, did you scan it with your smartphone and discover a “Shaun the sheep” animation?
Of course, prettying-up letters has always been around, whether some hand-drawn doodle or an artistic franking, and yet, the main part of a letter has always been its worded contents.
Long before the Royal Mail, God chose to send a missive to mankind. Thankfully there is no charge levied on us to read its words, and yet God did not choose to smarten up his content with a picture or some animation.
Given we now live in such a visual age, perhaps we might wonder why God did not opt for a more graphic style of communication. Surely, we might say, even cave dwellers chose to communicate with pictures.
So, was it intentional? Absolutely. As the Israelites were told: “the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.”
His reason? Well, as soon as you start to use images things become more fixed and then God’s transcendence is as limited as the images you use.
God has always used His letters and not His stamps to make His indelible impression unmistakable and clear.