Imagine with me a time when you were trying with all the controlled passion you could muster to impart a message to your child or close friend. You so want them to understand how life-changing your thoughts could be for them. There is almost a pleading in your voice and you find yourself repeating the words to them over and over until your child says, "
ALL RIGHT, ALL READY!"
As I read through the summary thought of Paul, my first thought was, ‘I know, already, please!’ Then something made me look again at his words and I had to ask myself what was going on with him? Where was he coming from and should I spend a bit more time really listening to his words? Perhaps I needed to read backwards. What was he summarizing? So, I began reading the entire letter starting at the beginning:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, 4 who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.
And so he began. He shared himself in this letter. He did not come easily to this place of consoling. It took much crafting for God to teach this man named Paul how to care, to love another and stay on the path despite hardship and much misunderstanding. He could see the missteps of his “students”, could understand how their egos were in conflict with the Christ message.
Over and over he reminded them of this wonderful treasure hidden deeply within them and prayed fervently that they would begin the work of discovery.
So, it was again a last ditch reminder to this church in Corinth to not become discouraged;
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.
2 Corinthians 13.11-13
This message remains for us today. Put things in order in your life so that you may live in peace and know that the God of love lives in you as you live in him.
Much love and consolation to you this day.