It’s been a six month voyage, but we are now making our final approach and denouement of 1 & 2 Thessalonians.
Here’s a preview of the final scene…
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.2 Thessalonians 3:16-18
What shall we say about these closing words? You’ll have to wait until June 12th, 2022 for the full sermon, but for now let’s amuse-bouche on two spices sousing this portion of the Γέγραπται.
- THE LORD OF PEACE. Paul forces you to notice the Lord of Peace Himself! And as you stare at the Lord of peace you cannot resist being dominated and defined by Him. It’s like seeing the Denmark Strait cataract or El Capitan in person, it will have your full and undivided attention. Or you could say it’s like being in the presence of someone who is a master of their craft. For instance, if you are in the presence of David Blaine (i.e. the lord of street magic) then you’re inevitably going to be transfixed by whatever magic trick he’s performing. And the other thing about being in the presence of the lord of street magic is that there is no moment at which street magic won’t be imminently available. You always have access to another magic trick! D. Blaine can do magic anywhere, and he can use anything and everything to perform his tricks. In other words, you will have magic AT ALL TIMES IN EVERY WAY because you are with THE LORD OF STREET MAGIC!
- HOW IT WORKS. The thing about about magic is that it appears to be ‘magical,’ but if you actually study it and personally commit to real, everyday, relationships with magicians …you’ll come to find that it’s all about discipline, enduring dedication, and genuine commitment. So Paul, here @ the end of his correspondence with the Thessalonians emphasizes the REAL/DEEP MAGIC of peace, and we are brought to a realization about HOW IT ACTUALLY WORKS! The grace & peace of God doesn’t get into us by performing mystical rituals, or adherence to religious traditions; rather, the peace of God is experienced in genuine, enduring, familial community.