Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 13:11-13

The Blueprint for Christian Living

How should Christians live? What sets the "bar" for Christian living?

Popular Translation

11 From now on, brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord. Put your lives in order. Encourage each other to do the right things and have the same purpose in mind. Do this, and the God who loves you and gives you peace will be with you. 12 Greet each other with a hug. All the saints send their greetings.

13 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

Literal Translation

11 From now on, brothers, rejoice, put your (ways) in order, encourage (each other), think the same (way), and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet each other with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

13 (May) the grace of the LORD JESUS CHRIST and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

These verses form the farewell to 2 Corinthians. They contain an exhortation to live as community, an exchange of personal greetings, and a final blessing. Taken together, they reveal Paul's view of Christianity.

For Paul, Christian should live in a distinctive community, a community of one mind and one heart. Christians should rejoice and live upright lives. Christians should always assume they live in the presence of God.

What sort of God is present? This is a God who gives the gift of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a God of love who lives in intimate union with his people. This is a God who sent his Spirit to be consoler and friend. This is the God of Father, Son, and Spirit.

Paul implied the God of grace and love and friendship was the model for Christian community. As God exists, so should Christians. We should freely give, treat others with Christian charity, and share fellowship. In other words, we should do as God does.

The Trinity is more than an article of faith. It is a blueprint for Christian living.

How does your life and your community reflect God in life? How can you improve to reflect God to others?