May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (verse 14)
This is another of those places in the New Testament where the doctrine of the Trinity unselfconsciously makes an appearance, Father, Son and Holy Spirit all equally being mentioned in the same breath. Paul is not trying to make a point. The statement simply flows out of his own deeply ingrained awareness of the Triune God. Adding strength to the apparent spontaneity of the statement is the fact that Paul doesn’t use a typical formulaic order in naming the Persons of the Godhead – he speaks first of the Son, then the Father, then the Spirit. As each is equally God, there is no offense.
This verse is spoken as a final word of blessing over the Corinthians. I receive it as such for myself.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ … be with you.” I have already been reminded in this letter that the grace of Jesus meant that he who was rich (Oh, so rich!) became poor for my sake, so that I might experience his great richness myself – what grace! I remember it is my own weakness that provides the context for his grace to be experienced in its full sufficiency – what grace! And I remember back to Romans that this grace, declaring me in right-standing with God himself, is the sure ground on which I now stand (Romans 5:2) – what grace! I stand in this place, once again receiving this fresh shower of Christ’s grace.
“May … the love of God … be with you.” I remember Jesus’ own story of the Father, waiting – patiently, eagerly, full of deep longing – with me fully in his sights. Then running with abandon, enfolding me in his embrace, welcoming me home. This love from the Father was extended while I was still a sinner, still his enemy. Indeed, it was extended before the creation of all things. He loved me while I was distant, drawing me near. And now, the incomprehensible dimensions of his love surround me and fill me, making me his child, his beloved. I revel in this love, once again.
“May … the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.” I remember that the Holy Spirit has been sent into my experience from the heart of Father and Son together. He is the Comforter and Counselor, called alongside me to help, never to leave me alone, making his dwelling in my life. His presence provides fellowship of the deepest kind, filling my soul, causing me to know I am a child of God, a co-heir with Jesus, gifting me for service, leading me into the very pathways long prepared for me by the Father. I am so thankful to be known. I enter into this fellowship anew, wholeheartedly.
Triune God, may this benediction reverberate in my life this day, touching every part. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with me. Now. Always.
Pray: Memorize this prayer of blessing (or print it on a card) and pray it for yourself several times as the day unfolds. Receive the blessing. Walk in it.