grace be with you all

Read 2 Timothy 4:19-22.

“Grace be with you all.”

Most likely, those are the last five words we have record of from the hand of the apostle Paul.

They are not particularly surprising. After all, Paul almost always ended his letters with such a prayer/statement or one quite similar. They aren’t just airy words or polite formalities, though, for one so touched by this grace personally, as was Paul, could never use such words casually or carelessly. And they are not simply words or simple words themselves, for there is nothing at all “simple” about the grace of God flowing into the lives of people.

What these words are, in fact, are words of depth  and expansion, words of reality and intimacy. There can be no deeper subject than the “grace” of God and Paul’s prayer is that such grace not be limited in any way, but, instead, flow out to “all.” That such grace from God would be “with” everyone, speaks particularly of it not simply being available in theory, but actually present – to “be” – with people. And not just with humankind in general, but with the ultimately personal one, “you.”

Deep and wide, real and engaged, this is indeed. For this grace is God and God is this sort of grace. And so I have to ask . . .

  • Just how deep are you actually willing to go with your relationship with God?
  • How wide do you believe his grace can spread in your life and into the lives of others?
  • How real to you is a God who is “grace?”
  • How involved in a relationship with him are you now and how will you relate him to others as a God of grace?

In an unending quest for solid answers to such questions, may his great grace ever be with you.