by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
In September we read Paul's letter to Titus and his very last letter, called 2 Timothy. Paul's concern is that the true gospel be preserved and proclaimed by a faithful church.
2 Timothy 4:19–22
The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you (2 Tim. 4:22).
Paul's letter closes with personal greetings and information for Timothy about mutual friends. It has a very human, altogether authentic tone. Paul is fond of Timothy. Twice he urges him to try to make it to Rome: "Do your best to come to me quickly" (v. 9) and "Do your best to get here before winter" (v. 21). Ships did not sail during winter, and travel over land that time of year was also hazardous. Besides, Paul knew he did not have much time left.
Then, in the closing line, a double greeting: "The Lord be with your spirit" is addressed to Timothy, because in this case "your" is singular. The second greeting is addressed to the whole church: "Grace be with you." This time "you" is plural.
There is no real difference between the two greetings. To Timothy Paul says, May the Lord sustain you. And to all of us he says, May God's grace be with you always.
That's a beautiful wish and prayer. It would be appropriate for us to close our letters in a similar way.
If you have read the letter to Titus and the second letter to Timothy during this month, you should be well aware how important it is that the church of Christ guards and spreads the apostolic teaching. And you cannot forget that the heart and core of this tradition is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Lord be with your spirit. That's personal. And grace be with all the members of the church of Christ.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version