“To the one who is able to protect you from falling, and to present you blameless and rejoicing before his glorious presence, to the only God our savior,
through Jesus Christ our Lord, belong glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, now and forever. Amen.”
You may remember the song “Hey Jude,” written by Paul McCartney of the British rock band, The Beatles. The background story says the words to the song evolved from “Hey Jules,” a song Paul McCartney wrote to comfort John Lennon’s son, Julian, during his parents’ divorce.
The song “Hey Jude” was released in August of 1968 and if you remember the song, you may also remember how long it was! More than seven minutes in length, it was at the time the longest single song ever to top the British music charts. The song also spent nine weeks at number one in the United States. What made the song so long was the seemingly endless refrain that used the words, “Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude,” over and over and over until you thought your record had a scratch that made it skip and repeat.
By contrast, the Letter of Jude in the New Testament scriptures is one of the shortest letters in Scripture; just one chapter with 25 verses. This little letter is tucked at the end of the New Testament immediately before Revelation. Jude was a popular name in the early centuries and is the English translation of the Hebrew name ‘Judah.’ This letter was probably written some 60 years after the death of Jesus.
The Letter of Jude has a beautiful salutation at the beginning of the letter and a hope-filled benediction or doxology at the end of the letter. The body of the letter is written as a warning about false teachers speaking against the grace of God and creating divisions among God’s people of faith in the Christian community.
This is a wonderful letter to read and become familiar with in the days in which we live. There are words of hope in the letter that encourage us to build each other up on the foundation of our faith, to pray with the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit, and to stay in love with God and keep each other in the love of God as modeled in the life and teaching of Jesus the Christ.
I invite you to read and be encouraged by the Letter of Jude. And if it helps to have the words of The Beatles with you, then, “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better. Remember to let (God) under your skin. Then you’ll begin to make it better better better better better, oh nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude…”