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So now we’re at the last paragraph, the Coda, the Postscript. One can imagine Paul running out of papyrus or ink now, and cramming in his final list of important things to remember and get across before he has to escape from a mob or dash off to a secret rendezvous. There’s a sense of haste in this ending, and the better part of twenty exhortations. If he’d had the technology, he’d probably have bulleted a list.
So here and now… in the meantime…while we are waiting for the When…let’s get on with being a truly good Christian community of Christian faith.
Much of that “getting on” is practical and down to earth. We should work and not sponge off each other; we should be patient with each other, and not try to get our own back if someone slights us.
Then much of that “getting on’” is about the spiritual side of life; we should pray constantly, rejoice constantly, and be open to the unprogrammed work of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, in light of the fact that this whole letter has been grounded in an exploration of the second coming of Christ, Paul blesses his readers with the peace of God and then assures them that this same God will keep them blameless at the coming of the Lord Jesus. For God is faithful to himself, faithful to his Word, and – incredibly – faithful to us.
At the end of this letter, intrigued and possibly bothered by its constant reference to the second coming of Christ, we remember that as with all prophetic inspiration what is said is more important than how it’s said, and what is to be done is more important than how it’s going to be done.
Oh dear Lord God of Peace, come to us. Come upon us. Come around us. Keep us whole and holy and blameless at the coming of your Son. Ground us, and all whom we love, in your faithfulness, as we say our AMEN to your determination to complete what you have begun, in us and in the world.