Today's Scripture Reading
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
11 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. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. 13 All the saints greet you.
Reader: A Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
"Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, 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. 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."
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.
This benediction from Paul to the people in Corinth reminds me how hard it is to live in community. Paul is appealing to the Corinthians to just get along! It is difficult to live in a community of people, even people we love immensely. Think of all the discord that can happen within a single family unit. Many of us have experienced discord within our church communities, which represent the body of Christ. The task of just getting along can be very difficult.
Sometimes we hold so fast to our own ideas and ideals that we make no room for any thoughts or feelings of anyone else. Paul asks the Corinthians to agree with one another and that seems utterly impossible in some situations. However, Paul also reminds the Corinthians and us that there is one very important aspect of our communites that we can agree upon, and that is that God is the Way, the Truth and the Light. Despite our many human disagreements, weaknesses, sins, we can be unified in our faith and hope in God. We can greet each other with a “holy kiss” and allow the grace of God to work within, among and through us.
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