What a great way to end a letter! In these three short verses, St. Paul packs a lot!

Finally…farewell! A sign that the end is coming. I imagine the Corinthians felt the same way you do when you hear the pastor say, “In conclusion…” Finally. Let’s wrap it up and give you some nuggets to hold on to, just in case you haven’t been paying attention up to now.

Put things in order. I can hear my dad in that statement! I remember him trying to reason with his first grandson who had thrown the magazines off the coffee table to the floor. My dad’s words to his grandson, age 18 months, were, “We must maintain some semblance of order.” His grandson didn’t understand!
God brings order out of chaos. Order promotes confidence and certainty. Get your ducks in a row. It may take some work, but order is better than disorder.

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

13:11   Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

13:12   Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.

13:13   The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
Listen to my appeal. Agree with one another. Live in peace.
I am writing this a week or so before it gets published. This past weekend, May 30-31, has been marred by protests and marches, of which several have turned violent and destructive. There has been a lot of disorder!

In these moments, I appreciate words shared by a high school friend of mine who lives closer to the pain and anger than me. This friend of mine has a daughter who is African American. I listen to my friend. I know she listens to her daughter.

In summary, the advice she shared is to listen. Listen to hear the voices of those who live in fear every day. Listen to those who are seeking justice. Listen to those who want and need to be heard.

As a wise person once said, “Remember God gave you TWO ears and only ONE mouth for a reason.


Everyone has a story. Yes, you have a story, and that is great. I do, too. And maybe there is a time for your story to be told. Now is a good time to listen to someone else’s story. Someone different than you.


I am not going to get into a conversation about rioting and looting. There is a time and a place for that. But right now, don’t let those discussions get in the way of listening.


I will never understand what my brothers and sisters in Christ are thinking or feeling unless I listen. I am confident I will never fully comprehend it, because I don’t live it. But I’ve got to try.

Listening is a gift. Time is a gift. Keeping your mouth shut is a gift, too. Stop giving unsolicited advice (Ummm…Did I just do that?) and listen.


My fear is that sometimes we mistake listening as inaction, and in doing so, we fear that we give the appearance that we do not care. And so we speak up, thinking our words are more important than hearing the words of others. I need to get over that. How about you?


It is only through listening to all voices that we might somehow get closer to agreeing with one another and living in peace (…and there I go again. Stop talking, and listen).

And the God of love and peace will be with you. The God of love and peace.

These are the attributes of God I love.

Let us pray: 

Almighty God, shut our mouths. Open our ears. Fill our hearts. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen

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