gratitude & hoopla: Grace, Mercy, & Peace

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

21.5.06

Grace, Mercy, & Peace

[I'm blogging through Paul's second letter to his son in the faith, Timothy. The first post in the series is here, and the second here. I'll keep going until it stops being interesting to me!]

Now we come to the blessing that is always present in Paul's letters in one form or another. "Grace, mercy and peace from God the father and Christ Jesus our Lord."

A few comments:

1) In all his epistles, excepting the two addressed to his beloved son, Timothy, the greeting is this: Grace to you and peace. But to Timothy he specifies a third ingredient: mercy. I wonder why? Is Timothy undergoing a particular trial at this time, or is Paul, out of sheer love for Timothy, simply overflowing with favor toward him, "piling on" the blessings?

2) Interestingly, when Paul concludes his letters, all of them (I believe), he does so with a simpler blessing: "Grace to you." It's as if the peace had been granted through the very words of his epistle and therefore need not be prayed for again.

3) The 3-fold favor that Paul bestows here is "from" the Father and the Son. Don't pass over that fact lightly. Paul is opening his letter with a blessing that comes through him from God the Father and the Lord Jesus. He is absolutely confident in this. He is not, in other words, simply "talking through his hat." Are we able to confidently speak blessings into the lives of our friends, unabashedly speaking as God's representative?

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