Going Deeper – 2 Cor. 13:14

Title and Text: “Grace, Love, Fellowship” – 2 Cor. 13:14

Questions for Discussion and/or Reflection:

  • Paul’s benediction in 2 Cor. 13:14 is Trinitarian, referring to all three persons of God’s Self: Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. What does the doctrine of the Trinity mean to you?  What does it matter to you?
  • Paul pairs particular nouns with each person of the Trinity: grace (Jesus), love (the Father), and fellowship (Spirit). In what ways do you associate these qualities with the corresponding members of the Trinity?
  • What is the significance of referring to Jesus as “the Lord” and “Christ” here? What about referring to the Spirit as “holy”?
  • Is there a sense in which these blessings of God are linked to participation in the body of believers?
  • In The Message, Eugene Peterson translates, “The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” Peterson adds adjectives to the nouns.  What adjectives would you choose?  Write your own version of the verse below.  Read it each morning and evening this week at the conclusion of your prayers.

Blessing: Hebrews 13:20-21

Here’s the text of Hebrews 13:20-21 (CEB) laid out in a responsive reading to be a concluding blessing for a worship service.  This blessing is particularly suited for Easter with its emphasis on the resurrection.

Blessing: Heb. 13:20-21

May the God of peace, who brought back the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, from the dead by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with every good thing to do his will, by developing in us what pleases him through Jesus Christ.

To him be the glory forever and always. Amen.

Blessing: Ephesians 3:17-21

Here’s a prayer and blessing right out of Eph. 3 (CEB) that can be used responsively as a sending and blessing at the end of a worship service.  The leader’s part offers the pastor a chance to pray for his/her congregation in the manner of Paul for the Ephesians.  The congregation’s part both blesses God and encourages hope in God’s unimaginable “power at work within us.”

Blessing: Eph. 3:17-21

I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God.

Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.

Blessing: Jude 24-25

Here’s the text of Jude 24-25 (CEB) broken into two parts for a responsive blessing at the conclusion of a worship service.  If preferred, the worship leader can simply read the full blessing.  This is a benediction suitable for about any occasion.  One special aspect of Jude’s blessing is that it includes both a blessing on God’s people (represented in the leader’s part below) and it bestows blessing on God (represented in the congregation’s part below).

Blessing: Jude 24-25

To the one who is able to protect you from falling, and to present you blameless and rejoicing before his glorious presence,

to the only God our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, belong glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time, now and forever. Amen.