Elegant Endings

I recently came into the possession of a 50-pound sack of wheat berries; grain to the uninitiated. This is an enormous paper sack of infinitesimally small particles, sold in quantities large enough to warrant the use of a forklift or trained elephant when moving. Yet it is held closed at both ends by one of the most brilliant feats of engineering the world has ever known. I’m not exaggerating here. By pulling a tiny string at the very corner of the bag, the most remarkable thing happens. As you pull, scores of interlocking loops of string along the edge of the bag give way in succession without any effort at all; no ripping, cutting, or stabbing is necessary. If only the sellers of packaged deli meat could be so thoughtful. This is a favorite activity of mine because I love – I mean love – elegant solutions that just work. Philippians 4:19-20 functions the same way. These verses are simple, elegant, and effortlessly tie everything else together in the letter. Trying to remove them would undermine the integrity of the message. In Bible reading, we can’t ignore the familiar way epistles end. Doing so robs us of enjoying a truly elegant ending.

One thought on “Elegant Endings

  1. I love the imagery of the “enormous paper sack of infinitesimally small particles”, or more to the point the “tinny string at the very corner of the bag” that supernaturally confines the extensive contents of the bag. I have seen the phenomena and it initially struck me a bit like a bank vault made impenetrable by a piece of chewing gum. What I was seeing just did not add up!

    It reminds me of the moment I first experienced the eternal Love of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ. What the world had been dictating I hold close to became worthless, materialism and its covetous pursuit included. “I call it a bargain, the best I ever had.”

    “I’m still a man in need of a Savior”.

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