2 Corinthians 13:11-13
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” vs. 13
Paul’s concluding words to the Corinthian congregation sum up his deepest desires for them as they continued the adventure they had begun in Christ Jesus. They’re familiar words and some of us hear them regularly as a part of the liturgy. In only three phrases, Paul captures the essence of true Christian community for all time. At its core is the costly grace which permeates every aspect of our life together. Confession and absolution are central in our worship and forgiveness is freely given and gladly received, not because we deserve it, but because it’s Christ’s gift to his Church. And because we practice obedience to Jesus’ one commandment, that we love one another as he has loved us, the love of God inevitably abounds, showing itself in the way we reach out to the least and the lonely with deeds of mercy and a desire for justice. This happens not because we’re so civic minded or such wonderful folks, but because the Holy Spirit has called and gathered us, and is present among us in the Word and Sacraments. This Spirit binds us together and equips us for ministry and is daily turning us into the people God has created us to be. We really don’t need complicated mission statements to define our life together. The presence of grace and the experience of love is all the Spirit needs to establish the true Body of Christ.
Thought for the Day: Why do we make Church complicated?