Grace Be With You—Colossians 4:16-18
“After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea. Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord. I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you” (Colossians 4:16-18)
I was cleaning my office recently and I came across letters that my husband wrote to me while we were dating. They were very sweet; I had almost forgotten what an exciting time that was for us as we were learning about each other. These shorts notes were a fun and personal trip down memory lane. I’ve saved them all these years because they are a rare and precious picture of our lives together early on. Email and text messages have replaced the deliberate expression of young love.
As precious as they are, I cannot imagine passing them around for others to enjoy. However, this is Paul’s instructions to the early church; he penned God’s love letter to them full of details and instructions about Christ. They were to be read and understood, maybe memorize and then passed on so others could do the same. Because of this practice Paul’s letters were widely circled throughout the churches and copied. Over two thousand years later we still have access to His revelation inspired by the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for the early church and their steadfast obedience.
Paul closes this marvelous letter in a personal way. First he reminds us of his chains, that he is a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ and it is worth it. Secondly, he ends reminding us of the grace of God which is available in each moment of every day. He gives the charge that His grace is to be with us and go before us. His grace is what we need for life.
I cannot think of a better way to end a letter. As I finish writing through Colossians today, I also want to end this study and to encourage all who have made this journey with me, in this same way—Grace be with you!
I’d Love To Hear From You…
Colossians is an amazing book! After being on this journey with me over the past nine months, what is one thing you’ve learned studying this letter?