“Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good, so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21b from Hebrews 13:1-21 [Emphasis mine])
Any man or woman who can bless as Paul can bless can be forgiven much by me. And Paul does eventually get around to tell the readers of Hebrews what they must do in response to the gift and person-hood of Christ. That he leaves it to practically the end of the letter frustrates me, but then Paul has frustrated me before, and I am sure will again. And if I can expand on Paul, being in right relationship with God and others, insuring and executing compassionate justice, and working towards shalom should certainly be pleasing to God and Jesus Christ’s sight.
And having appropriated Paul’s theology, I would like to repay him by talking a little about his style of blessing. It is one that I have tried to emulate. There is a driving force in the combination of words and sentiments that comes through the translation from the original language to our modern day English – of course part of that can be attributed to the skill of the translators. Paul’s style reminds me somewhat of preachers and ministers who have run on prayers that just seem to go on and on because of well placed and often used conjunctive speech. It can get wearing and tiring because they do not seem to have a purpose or an end point. But Paul has a specific destination in his prayers, and a well laid out route. The reader is compelled to read further and further until Paul climaxes in his irrefutable basis for his theology of the prayer. Makes you just want to stand up at attention and raise praise to God! And please God who is the invisible and underlying author of all Paul’s prayers. So I reiterate, I can forgive a lot.
You may gentle reader be so moved by the compassion and sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ that you strive each day to be at peace with all of humanity so that the Almighty God might be pleased with you. Selah! And shalom for your day!