Pastor, Don’t Throw that Benediction Away

Monday is for Discussion

Yesterday, I ended the Lord’s Supper Celebration Week services at Trinity Church in Watseka IL, with a benediction from 2 Corinthians 13:11-12.

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.” (ESV)

Nearly the final words in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, this simple benediction reveals much about the apostle’s heart for the Church. Here’s just a few thoughts:

  • Artist: Rembrandt Van Rijn

    Joy—-Paul desires–commands–the people of God to rejoice in the gospel.

  • Reconciliation—-Paul exhorts the saints to aim at harmony in relationships within the church.
  • Comfort—Paul’s expectation is that the people of God would be a comfort to one another in the trials of life.
  • Agreement—-Paul returns to his reconciliation theme. Agreement,takes work, it doesn’t just happen. We have to work at it with diligence. .
  • Live in Peace—-“peaceableness” should be a high priority for the people of God. We follow the Prince of Peace, we have been forgiven and we should be a radically forgiving people.

And there is a huge payoff for living this way, for cultivating this quality of life, for refusing to let petty grievances and disagreements from stealing our joy and keeping us from reaching into one another’s lives with comfort and compassion. When we live this way the promise of God’s word through Paul is “the God of love and peace will be with” us.

The presence of God!

Pastor, don’t throw these benedictions away. Exposit them. Teach them. Use them. Help your people understand them so they can live them. For the glory of Christ.

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