2 Corinthians 13:11-13
11 Finally, brothers,[a] rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another,[b] agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” These words are used in all our liturgies; these words are used to end this epistle. They are used so often that we almost don’t pay attention anymore. Our response is like that to a note on a bulletin board that has been there for a year, or even background music that is always there. But these words, when mindfully read and heard, contain the power and presence tof he Trinity. What more could I desire in this whole wide world? Nothing is worth anything without this grace, love, and communion.
As we receive this grace, love, and communion, we dare not keep them for ourselves alone. That would be like getting a beautifully wrapped Christmas present and never opening it, never taking it out, never using it. No, as we receive this grace, the ability to believe, then we are able to agree with one another and live in peace. It’s not that we need to agree on everything, for we all appreciate different styles of worship, different worship venues, and different groups with whom to worship. We don’t have to agree on every program or schedule. But what we do agree on is that first and last and always Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died on the cross to take into himself our sins so that we may be brought into God’s eternal presence. I thank God that we may always be in the communion of the Spirit with one another no matter where we are or what is occurring. God bless you always.
God of grace and God of peace, enfold us within your loving arms. We so often feel anxious, especially about the things over which we have no control. As we depend on you for all things, we pray that you will grace us with the belief that will help us to both receive and give what our world most needs, your peace and presence flowing through all your children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by Pastor Barbara Ziah—Interim Preaching Minister