“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.” – 2 Corinthians 13:13
My first service after I was ordained was in my home church in Lake Ainslie, Cape Breton. With our Celtic roots, I wanted to “pronounce the Benediction” in Gaelic. My grandfather took me to visit John Angus Collins. He reached for a well-weathered Gaelic Bible and looked up 2 Corinthians 13:13. He read it aloud. Then he took a pencil and transcribed the words into English and coached my pronunciation.
These are words that foreshadow the Doctrine of the Trinity, but in this Second Letter they are offering the best to a community of faith that irked and distressed Paul. It is the last verse in the Letter, but before this, Paul argues and cajoles, defends himself, and challenges the new community and urges them to get it together and live in peace.
He closes his Letter to them calling on the best of gifts to support them. He pronounces a benediction with words calling on the Divine Energies of God’s Whole Self to spill over into their daily lives — and ours.
Grace spills over from Jesus into the Love that is always flowing which spills over to the Spirit who supports the intimate work of friendship in community.
The gifts from One God in Community are always flowing,
and we are caught up in the splash.
Grace spilling into grace
and Love spilling into Love
and in the Spirit of this overflowing, we live and move and have our being.
Through us, through community, the spilling continues.
It is beautiful — and it remains a favourite blessing, but I can only say it in English now.
“Blogging one verse from every book of the bible.”
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