And may the Lord Himself always give you peace in all your ways [and doings along your path].
     The Lord be with you.
     This salutation of Paul, by my own hand, which is my sign-off in all my letters - that's how I write.
     The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. - II Thessalonians 3:16-18/transliteration by Bruce C Wearne


PICTURE: Álvaro Serrano/Unsplash

The letter concludes with Paul’s own distinctive blessing. And he draws the letter’s readers to this. In all your ways and doings may God be with you to grant you peace. 

And here am I, he says, giving you my sign-off – this is how I conclude all my letters. In other words, this is the way I do it to add my personal touch.

It is as if Paul is saying that for him, as for those he addresses in the letter (and now us), this is set forth in the prayer that God’s grace will be maintained by Him in His life – and in His parting blessing as well!

The reciprocity, between Paul and the Thessalonians, which God has brought about, is a constant theme of these two letters. It is maintained until the last word.