Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.Philippians 1:2-6
Good morning, everyone! If I were teaching Sunday school today we would be talking about the 2nd week of Advent. Last week we focused on the words “Hope” and “Light” – this week it’s going to be “Grace” and “Peace.”
This is a greeting the Apostle Paul leads with on several occasions, and I often use it myself as a salutation. It’s a perfectly weighted blessing, neatly referencing two of Christianity’s most essential and defining characteristics.
I did not casually use the word “essential”! We live in a time when there is a deep need for grace. Grace both offered and received. Grace when we go about our normal, day-to-day lives; grace when are at odds with someone; grace in explaining our position; grace in disagreement; grace when things are going our way, grace when they are not; grace in victory; grace in defeat.
Carrying grace is one of God’s fundamental missions for each one of us. When I interact with anyone – from Rebekah to a prospective publisher to a guy I chat with walking the dog to the checkout person at the grocery store – I want them to experience grace. But it’s not something to turn off and on, grace has to become a defining element of who I am and how I live, and for that to happen I absolutely must know Jesus.
Grace I believe, is something that is necessary if we want to experience peace. If we do grace, if we are full of grace, then it is not only we ourselves who will know peace, but all who find themselves in our orbit.
Grace and peace to all this Second Sunday in Advent – DEREK