Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday's Meditation: Grace and Peace

Sometimes I’m in a hurry to get to the “real” scripture. When I’m reading one of the epistles I skip over the opening or fly past the closing. In the gospels I nearly always ignore the genealogies. In the Old Testament--well, don’t get me started.

Lately, though, I’m beginning to think that all of the Bible is inspired, even the “formalities” like greetings and blessings. Here are just a couple of examples: if we took the time to think about the first four verses of II Peter our view of God’s grace and peace wold be forever changed. Or, if we resisted the urge to finish the book of Hebrews too quickly the last six verses in the letter would send us away with enough encouragement to last a month.

Did you ever notice that every one of Paul’s letters open with the words “Grace and peace?” Perhaps Paul was just being nice, and he really didn’t mean those words. Perhaps that’s the way all such letters began and no one took them seriously. Or, perhaps--just perhaps--the Holy Spirit and Paul considered grace and peace as indispensable in the Christian life.

What better day than a Monday to stop and meditate over one simple idea: we need his grace and peace in our lives every day. In practical terms--everyday living--what do God's grace and peace look like in my life? His grace and peace are first steps in a mature walk with God. His grace and peace are abundant enough that we can give them away every time we greet one another. So my greeting to you as we start our week: grace to you, and peace.

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