Saturday 24th October 2020 – 2 Thessalonians – Final Words
2 Thessalonians 3: 16 – 18
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in all ways. The Lord be with all of you. I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
There is very little written about these last three verses, but as I sat here pondering, the phrase that kept standing out was “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the mark in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.”
The words and phrases we use, often tell the story of where we have come from and where we have travelled. I originally grew up in Birmingham but have lived in many places and travelled a little and I often forget that sometimes the words and phrases I use don’t compute in other places. I was on the phone to a friend the other night we were talking about what we had for dinner, I said “I had belly draft with rice and veg” and my friend replied “what on earth is belly draft?” and I’ll be honest I was stumped because it what I had always called it. My friend googled it and exclaimed “oh, you mean belly pork!” we then discovered that the phrase I used is a Midlands name for this meat.
Paul is explaining that he will always write in this style when writing to the Thessalonians so they know the letters are genuine and that they can depend on the contents of them to steer them true in the faith. The words & phrases we use matter, they can create connection or disconnection between God and ourselves and God and others. God offers us peace, but we have to take it, God offers connection, but we have to accept it.
Paul’s writing is not always comfortable, and there are many that wrestle with some of the things he is attributed with saying, but like all of Scripture, the message flowing through is one of truth and love.
Intimate God, we know your voice deep in our heart, but often ignore or bury it, help us reconnect to that recognisable song that guides and guards us through life. Amen