The Lord be with you

The Lord be with you“The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.” - 2 Timothy 4:22 Famous farewells, recorded for history, tell us a lot about the human condition and our wishes for each other. There are many notable ones, such as:

“Until we meet again, may the good Lord take a liking to you.” —Roy Rogers   "This is the last of earth!  I am content." —John Q. Adams, sixth U.S. president   “I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” —Lou Gehrig, saying good-bye to baseball   "O, holy simplicity!"—John Huss, a priest burned at the stake in 1415   "I still live."—Daniel Webster   "I've always loved my wife, my children, and my grandchildren, and I've always loved my country. I want to go. God, take me." —Dwight D. Eisenhower, thirty-fourth President of the United States.

You can do an internet search and find hundreds of touching and fascinating last words, but I think there are probably no more caring and inspired ones than what the apostle Paul wrote to his young friend, Timothy: “The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.”

“The Lord be with your spirit” is addressed in the singular. He meant it for Timothy alone; a blessing Timothy would carry with him until the end of his own days. At the end of this final letter, Paul bid farewell with his favorite word.

“Grace be with you,” he wrote to a plural readership. This he meant for everyone, all of his beloved Christian community—and no doubt, everyone else whom he loved and prayed for. Every one of Paul’s benedictions contains the word “grace.”

At the end of his life, Paul’s concern was for those he left behind, and for the many who would follow over the years. He longed for what God desires for us—grace.

I pray that I will die with love in my heart and grace on my lips. I pray that we can all know, in those last hours of life on earth, amazing grace.

Now may God’s unmerited favor, forgiveness, and enabling power be poured out upon His children. Grace be with you.

[Photo: Chris Reinecke, CreationSwap]