“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” (Reference: Philippians 2:14-16 )
One of the reasons I like Paul’s blessings is because there is such power and forward movement in them. What that actually is, is Paul getting the blessing out in one or two long sentences until you are carried with increasing momentum landing finally in the “Amen!”
But Paul expounding on a theme or delivering an exhortation is a different matter. The running on of words and phrases just keeps expanding and you not always sure where Paul will lead you too. The historic Anabaptist believer cited this day also wrote one sentence encouragement, making liberal use of commas and semi-colons. Why, you may ask, am I looking at the structure instead of the context and context? Because in both cases, Paul and the historic Anabaptist believer, start with an exhortation to the reader but end with an appeal that has to do more with them than with those they are addressing. And I guess that bothers me just a bit.
Now, the historic Anabaptist believer does not bring the focus around to him as much as Paul does, but there is similarity of style that says more “me/I” than “you/them”. And granted, the concern for the reader is there. And certainly if one follows and completes the task in their exhortation, the reader would certainly benefit. It just would be nicer to have it all audience-focused and in separate thought units.
You may, beloved, lead a blameless and pure life. May God guide you and direct to live such a life. And may God grant the Divine’s everlasting favor upon you. Selah!
[See Paul, that’s how you do it!]