Our God is one — unity.
Our God is three — diversity.
Our God is three in one — mystery.
Finally, brothers and sisters, good-bye. Put things in order, respond to my encouragement, be in harmony with each other, and live in peace—and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Say hello to each other with a holy kiss. All of God’s people say hello to you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Saying goodbye is not always easy. It’s hard to find the right words. If you’ve moved a lot you might know the feeling well.
Paul has just written a second letter to the Corinthians encouraging them and imploring them to live in community together based on the love and peace of God. Living in community is really hard! There are always those people you can’t stand, or those people you just don’t get. But in this goodbye from Paul, he reminds the Corinthians to live in harmony and peace with one another. You can write in your Bible next to this passage, “Yes, even with that weirdo.”
Paul uses his goodbye as another opportunity to focus on the community. The Corinthians will remember his teachings and the life of Christ in the way they live. When they live in this way, they experience a unity beyond geography, space, and time. They experience the unity of the Trinity. In the Trinity, goodbyes are not final and unity is eternal.
God who goes behind, before, and beside me, teach me to live in unity with others as you live in unity. Teach me to live in harmony with others as you live in harmony. Teach me to live in faith that you are with us always. Amen.
Work for unity.