In spite of Paul's history of being an asshole (maybe not even in spite, maybe for that exact reason, really) the Lord transformed Paul into His servant. Which led to Paul becoming a missionary, a martyr and the author of the majority of the New Testament. Paul's life was a total 180-degree turnaround.
My favorite thing about the Pauline Epistles (besides the name obviously, I mean Pauline) is the passion with which Paul(ine) writes. This is a passionate guy hoping to convey one message-- the Gospel. He gets real passionate at times making it super hard to understand him (Romans, anyone?) but you cannot ignore the zeal he possess in every word he puts on the page.
The other thing that gets me about these letters is the personality that seems to seep through. [Go check out Galatians 6:11, it's my personal favorite.]
Paul had to have been quite the dude and it shows when he writes. I especially love the personal touches to them. He writes a lot of them like he is BFF with these people, when really, he wasn't. And he's not afraid to tell people to get their shit together. Love that.
But, seriously, what I really love is the way he closes out each letter. He always throws out a personal SHOUT OUT (something, I am obviously a HUGE fan of) and usually slips in one last "to-do" list for those reading. This is incredible because, if Paul closed out his letters with a Willfully His, Confidently His, His, LYLAS/B, Cheers! or Deuces his whole message would be worthless. I mean, say I read all of First Corinthians and I'm really digging it and I'm about to expel the "immoral brother" and Paul says to me, Y'all go get 'em! Lovies! I'm probably not going to take him seriously.
So, really my point in all of this is-- get serious. You should end your conversations, be they via e-mail, actual letters or phone calls with the same amount of passion and zeal that you started the conversation with. Stay with your message. Nothing loses an audience faster than an ill-advised Cheers!
Grace and Peace be with each of you who wish for the second coming! Woe to those who don't fear the Lord! Lovies! -lc
maybe i should take notes from paul. i never know how to end my emails. people who work at churches... or maybe just any ol' church goers... are always writing things like: "blessings," at the end... but i always wonder what does that even mean?
so anyway. there ya go.
Love your reverent irreverence.
For a somewhat unorthodox interpretation of Paul, consider my recent work of historical fiction entitled A Wretched Man, a novel of Paul the apostle. Sorry for the blatant self-promotion, but click on my name for more details.
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