Archive for February, 2013

I Thessalonians 5:28

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

May you know the love that gives birth to joy and gratitude in a community of encouragement in all things. 

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I Thessalonians 5:27

I solemnly command you by the Lord that this letter be read to all of them.

Transparency, community, connection.

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I Thessalonians 5:26

 Greet all the brothers and sisters with a holy kiss.

 A kiss can be a prayer and a prayer a kiss. These bodies are the vessels of our spiritual connection so long as we are of these bodies. Let us use them faithfully. Again, I think of April Bernard’s great poem “What would happen then” which has the lines “The kiss, held back all those long years, at last would release into the mouth in flood/and ‘why not’ would replace all other dicta/but gently as a sunlit nudge.”

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I Thessalonians 5:25

Beloved, pray for us.

An honest and open request that affirms our spiritual connection woven of cables strung out of the very heart of the universe. 

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I Thessalonians 5:24

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

As the hymn goes, quoting James, “there is now shadow of turning with him” (“Him” being the pronoun that struggles to be adequate to the task of speaking of divine, transforming, delighted love in the 3rd person). But the main point here is “faithful.” In all things. Whatever happens.

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I Thessalonians 5:23

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please note – the Holy One is “the God of peace”, not the God of war or retribution. “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord” (Romans 12) is not a counsel about God’s core character but more about how vengeance is never our department. When God takes care of vengeance, it is transformed by the faithful and amazing alchemy of divine love. You can’t believe it unless you’ve experienced it.

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I Thessalonians 5:22

…abstain from every form of evil.

Why wouldn’t we? See above under “addiction” and “laziness.” Some of this is so hard that it drives us into community just so we can take the next step in our “spiritual 12-step program” of getting on with the work of love.

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